It may not be long before the world simply doesn’t have many effective antibiotics, according to a scary piece by Maryn McKenna in Wired.

The bottom line: “The drugs we have for heart disease, for depression, for cancer, the vaccine for measles—they’ll still work. But antibiotics will be crushed,” Kevin Outterson, who runs an initiative that supports antibiotic research, told Wired.

Between the lines:

  • Bacterial resistance eventually renders many antibiotics useless.
  • The big pharmaceutical companies have largely gotten out of the antibiotics business.
  • Research to develop new antibiotics is expensive and time-consuming. So small biotech companies have to hang on for decades without a product. But experts think many of those companies will instead have to go out of business — and that will leave us without much of a pipeline to replace existing drugs as they become obsolete.

McKenna suggests treating antibiotics not like other pharmaceuticals, which are developed and sold on the free market, but like infrastructure or military technology.

  • The government would define a need, solicit bids, and defray the research costs of the company that delivers, in exchange for tight control over how its products are used in the future.

Go deeper

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick on Saturday

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he plans to announce his Supreme Court pick on Saturday. He later told reporters that the announcement will come at 5 p.m.

Why it matters: Republicans are moving fast to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which would tilt the balance of the high court in conservatives' favor and have lasting impact on climate policy, immigration and the Affordable Care Act.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Remote work won't kill your office

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

We can officially declare the 9-to-5, five-days-a-week, in-office way of working dead. But offices themselves aren't dead. And neither are cities.

The big picture: Since the onset of pandemic-induced telework, companies have oscillated between can't-wait-to-go-back and work-from-home-forever. Now, it's becoming increasingly clear that the future of work will land somewhere in the middle — a remote/in-person hybrid.

FBI: Foreign actors likely to sow disinformation about delays in election results

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency released a public service announcement on Tuesday warning that mail-in ballots "could leave officials with incomplete results on election night," and that foreign actors are likely to spread disinformation about the delays.

The bottom line: The agencies called on the public to "critically evaluate the sources of the information they consume and to seek out reliable and verified information from trusted sources," including state and local election officials.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!