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Nati Harni / AP

Scientists are re-exploring "phage therapy," the use of viruses to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to The Washington Post.

Why it matters: Antibiotic resistant bacteria pose one of the biggest threats to human health, according to the World Health Organization. Bacteriophage therapy could be another option as resistance to existing antibiotics grows because of the large number of phages on Earth (in excess of 10 million trillion trillion), each likely to target a different species of bacteria.

How it works: Bacteriophages kill specific bacteria by entering the cells and causing them to burst. To figure out which bacteria are being targeted, researchers take a sample from a patient, grow them with phages and see which cells they kill. They then grow that phage in large batches, purify it and administer it to the patient. The process takes five to 10 days, however scientists believe they will be able to shorten that time frame. The approach hasn't been approved for general use in people but WaPo says most scientists believe they are safe, in part because we are exposed to them daily, and the therapy has been used in a handful of emergency situations.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.