Expert Encounter: Antibiotic resistance

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SMC Expert encounters — a new series of monthly lunchtime events for Auckland media

Antibiotic resistance is this month’s topic — The evolution and spread of antibioticresistance in harmful bacteria is increasingly being recognised as a major modern crisis. Understanding how bacteria evolve — and the shortcuts they use to swap genes across species — is key to understanding why they are winning this invisible “arms race”. Can we turn this new knowledge to our advantage?

This month’s expert is: Heather Hendrickson, Lecturer, Molecular Biosciences, Massey University

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Dr Heather Hendrickson has studied bacterial evolution for the past 15 years. During this time microbiology has gone from being largely descriptive (stamp collecting) to a field informed and shaped by genetics and molecular biology. Today, the wealth of DNA sequence data from bacteria and viruses in our environment and in our bodies is leading to a revolution in our understanding of evolution and how these microscopic creatures change over time.

Listen back to a recording of this month’s event – Thurs 31 July 2014

View presentation slides (Click the image for PDF download)Bacteria HGT cartoon

About the SMC Expert Encounter Series

These monthly sessions bring together a compelling expert speaker with an invited group of media to discuss a range of science-related topics. Prior knowledge of the subject area is not required. The aim is to provide a forum for in-depth Q&A and discussion, encouraging invitees to confront new ideas, gain useful background and contacts for future reporting and collaborations.

The series is organised by the Science Media Centre with support from the MacDiarmid Institute. For more information, contact Dacia Herbulock, Senior Media Advisor, Science Media Centre.

Slides – Expert Encounter – Antibiotic resistance