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COVID: a geneticist predicted what the next pandemic will be after the coronavirus

2021-07-24T00:43:20.221Z

According to the scientist, antibiotics will not be able to treat the infections of the future. 07/23/2021 10:51 Clarín.com International Updated 07/23/2021 10:51 AM British Edith Heard is a geneticist and director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, a European institution dedicated to unlocking the secrets of life. Before the coronavirus pandemic began, he gave a presentation in which he addressed future health crises with no idea what was about to happen. Now, while in America



07/23/2021 10:51

  • Clarín.com

  • International

Updated 07/23/2021 10:51 AM

British

Edith Heard

is a geneticist and director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, a European institution dedicated to unlocking the secrets of life.

Before the coronavirus pandemic began, he gave a presentation in which he addressed future health crises with no idea what was about to happen.

Now, while in America several countries are going through second waves of

COVID

and in Europe a third or fourth is feared, he made a statement that set off the alarm in the scientific world.

"In 10 or 20 years we will be dying from infections of bacteria resistant to antibiotics," he

predicted to the newspaper El País

.

He added that his work in the laboratory also has to do with this.

"By understanding the reasons why antibiotic resistance is growing so fast." 

Edith Heard is 56 years old and British.

The organization that he directs works with 1,800 employees, has offices in Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, and opened a new facility in Barcelona in 2017, focused on studying the development and functioning of the organs of living beings.

Heard's specialty is epigenetics

.

If DNA is imagined as a sequence of letters with the instructions for the functioning of a living being, the epigenetic changes would be like accents, with the ability to modify the message and cause disorders, such as cancer.

The big goal, says Heard, is to learn to manage these accents with drugs, to reverse the diseases.

Scientific work in a laboratory.

Photo: AFP

In an interview with El País, Heard said that two years ago, before the pandemic occurred, "we already knew there was a risk, because we knew other viruses such as SARS. We need molecular tools to understand what is happening. We knew that these issues they were very urgent. And then the pandemic came. "

At that time he made a presentation in which he referred to future emerging pandemics and said that they occur in areas where human action destroys ecosystems. 

Resistance to antibiotics, a future pandemic according to the specialist.

Photo: AFP

"Why antibiotic resistance is growing so fast. It's not just in hospitals, you can see antibiotic resistance in ocean bacteria. We want to understand why it happens."

What could be the cause?

"We don't know, that's the big question. If we could understand what happens, we could prevent it. Many companies stopped developing antibiotics, so now there are few drugs. The next killer will be this.

In 10 or 20 years we will be dying from infections of bacteria resistant to antibiotics, which we will no longer be able to treat

, "Heard told the Spanish newspaper.

"In the last 100 years we have doubled our life expectancy, thanks to elements such as antibiotics and vaccines. If we do not do something,

within 20 years the antibiotics that exist today will not be able to treat the infections that we will have. It will be the next pandemic, "he

predicted.

According to the scientist, today's antibiotics will not work in the future.

Photo: AFP

Also in the interview the British, L'Oréal-Unesco Prize, referred to the advances in the fight against cancer.

He stated that there is hope of obtaining epigenetic drugs to treat some types of cancer and other diseases.

“We know that in cancer there are great epigenetic changes, not just genetic ones.

And these are very interesting, because you can undo them.

An epigenetic drug is a drug that changes these epigenetic modifications ”, he described.


Other "forecasts"

This alarm that Heard ignited took place hours after the United Nations Organization warned that another problem may be approaching at a global level that could “become the next pandemic”.

“The drought is about to become the next pandemic.

And there is no vaccine to cure it ”.

This was expressed by Mami Mizutori, UN representative for Disaster Risk Reduction last Thursday, at a press conference.

Along the same lines, in February this year scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States also referred to a probable new pandemic.

They talked about

Candida auris

, a sometimes deadly fungal infection.

It is classified as a "near perfect pathogen"

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-07-24

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