Researchers ask citizen-scientists to get their hands dirty in antibiotics quest

12/17/2013 | National Public Radio

The federal government has stepped in to encourage drugmakers to seek new antibiotics, but federal funding of conventional research is not the only model. Researchers Josiah Zayner and Mark Opal launched a crowdfunding campaign to send sampling kits to citizens that allow them to check plants, chemicals and other substances around the home for substances that kill bacteria. Results would be published in an online database, and even if the project fails to uncover a new antibiotic, it will at least engage citizens and teach them about antibiotic resistance, says Gregory Daniel, a fellow at the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at the Brookings Institution.

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