The Null Device
According to new research, we have at most ten more years of use of antibiotics before the world is overrun with completely antibiotic-resistant diseases, and life, once again, becomes nasty, brutish and short:
Transplant surgery becomes virtually impossible. Organ recipients have to take immune-suppressing drugs for life to stop rejection of a new heart or kidney. Their immune systems cannot fight off life-threatening infections without antibiotics.
Removing a burst appendix becomes a dangerous operation once again. Patients are routinely given antibiotics after surgery to prevent the wound becoming infected by bacteria. If bacteria get into the bloodstream, they can cause life-threatening septicaemia.At least then we don't need to worry about dying of cancer, because, chances are, pneumonia, TB or cholera (or, indeed, complications from childbirth or sporting accidents or other things people don't worry about these days) will have picked most of us off before then.
Of course, unlike in the pre-antibiotic era, we have technological advancements such as bioinformatics, which opens the possibility of new treatments being developed. However, no such deus ex machina appears on the horizon yet, and the clock is ticking.