While I'm certainly not an advocate for the flippant use of antibiotics I can see the need for them in the modern era. One might argue that the modern era is in some part reliant on this type of medical technology/biology. I can say from personal experience that I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for these technologies. At the very least I would be missing some portions of one of my arms and would likely be deaf and mute. I am also aware that the over use of these types of medications have led to some of the super bugs that patients are dealing with now. Nobody wants anybody to suffer but it seems that there is a balance between use and overuse that we've gotten serious;y out of whack. My hope is that a new class of naturally derived antibiotics used in conjunction with more reasonable ways of living, will eventually lead to an overall drop in the need for these medications and the suffering of those that must currently deal with our past mistakes.
One thing I'll bet now is that when it hits the market it'll be expensive as hell.
One last thing... I think that if people weren't eating such sterilized diets of non-food, the need for such biological therapy would be seriously lowered. In other words - "Eat More Dirt"
I too have been following these "new" potential antibiotics. I don't have my hopes up for seeing them anytime soon because most of the antibiotics we are familiar with are from fungi that could be cultured and and later grown in vats. The soil microbes that only live in soil, such as the ones for the new antibiotics, are very picky about their soil environment. Try to imagine sterilizing and maintaining a sterile environment in a very large green house. If there is a contamination from another microbe it is highly unlikely the company would it on the market and risk lawsuits from making people sick. The company would probably throw away the batch, sterilize the green house and soil and restart the entire process. Some other expenses: New HEPA filters every 3 to 6 months, sterile bunny suits for the inspectors and workers, sterilization interlocks to get into the greenhouse, water sterilization systems for maintaining sterile ground moisture. Not impossible but very costly.
I am totally in agreement with Craig, that they will be expensive as hell.
UPDATE: Drugs From Dirt is conducting a citizen science project and wants people's help. Currently, their first priority is to profile the soil microbes in all of the states in the US. If you are in the US and would like to participate, sign up on their website. Signing up does guarantee participation, but hopefully some of us permies might be in a zone or climate they are looking for.
Widespread use of BT led to BT-resistant bugs. Jus sayin.
Anytime something from nature is used on a massive scale the organisms immune to it flourish due to lack of competition.
I couldn't help but notice is the first paragraph of the article it mentioned it was to replace antibiotics "that no longer work."
Eat healthy and exercise.