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Wednesday, May 20 • 2:25pm - 2:35pm
Pieter Van Boheemen (Waag Society): How to leverage citizen science and ubiquitous education to solve the antibiotics crisis

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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) results each year in 25,000 deaths and related costs of over € 1,5 billion in healthcare expenses and productivity losses. Globally multiresistant Tubercolosis causes 450,000 new infections annualy, common antimicrobials against urinary tract infections became ineffective and last resort treatments have been confirmed ineffective against Gonorrhoea in many countries.

Meanwhile the antibiotic development pipelines of pharma companies have dried out. Newly market approved antimicrobials have dropped from 16 in 1985 to 0 since 2010. WHO warns that the current antimicrobia crisis could bring "the end of modern medicine as we know it".

Antimicrobial resistance is much more a social than a technical challenge. It is a direct result of our increasingly urbanized society, fed by large scale animal farming, equiped with centralized waste water treatment, and abuse of prescription drugs.

BioStrike is an ongoing project in a collective of Do It Yourself Biotechnologists (DIYBio) aiming to solve this tragedy of the commons. At festivals, community labs, schools and universities popup events were held. A collaborative online tool, a "Community Starter Kit" and a workshop format are in development to synergize efforts.

avatar for Pieter Van Boheemen

Pieter Van Boheemen

Programme Manager, Waag Society
At Waag Society's Open Wetlab, Pieter van Boheemen develops projects, conducts research and workshops intertwining biotechnology, open innovation and arts. As founder of the Dutch DIY Bio community in 2012, he started a group of grassroots biotechnologists. Since 2013, he works... Read More →

Wednesday May 20, 2015 2:25pm - 2:35pm CEST

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