UMBC Biology Council of Majors

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$16.9 million prize to those who can solve antibiotic resistance problem

Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on June 25, 2014 at 8:25 PM

The Longitude Prize was awarded by the British government in 1714 to the person/s who could solve a major issue that was affecting humanity. The first prize was awarded to John Harrison for his clock that allowed sailors to pinpoint their position at sea for the first time. The prize has been brought back over all these years with a prize of 10 million pounds ($16.9 million) awarded to the person/s that can solve a problem that humanity current faces. There were six issues that made it to this year’s challenge, but only one was chosen to be the focus of the challenge.

The six challenges proposed were how to restore movement to those with paralysis, how to help people with dementia live independently longer, how to ensure everyone has accessible and clean water, how to ensure everyone has nutritious, sustainable food , how to fly without damaging the environment (carbon emissions), or how to prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics. Of those six, to prevent the rise of resistance to antibiotics was chosen to be the most pressing issue.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned us of a “post-antibiotic era.” There could be a time where drugs no longer work and people begin to die from previously treatable diseases. Paul Rincon of BBC states that we are at war with bacteria and we’re losing. Bacterial strains that were once treatable are now popping up all over the world again due to their development of antibiotic resistance. It could mean a world without antibiotics.

To learn more about the Longitude Prize 2014 visit:

Rincon, Paul. "£10m Prize to Focus on Antibiotics." BBC News. BBC, 25 June 2014. Web. 25 June 2014.


Categories: Health News

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