For years we have been warning of an impending medical catastrophe due to the over-prescribing and overuse of antibiotics. In fact, as we reported last year, hospitals are some of the most prolific breeding grounds for drug-resistant superbugs, killing more patients a year than measles.

Now, scientists have captured the horror of superbug creation on video, compliments of NPR. Researchers from Harvard Medical School filmed a horrifying experiment in which they created a bacteria that is 1,000 times more drug-resistant than their ancestors. The time-lapse video shows a white bacterial colony spreading across a large black petri dish with vertical bands of progressively higher doses of antibiotics.

As you watch, you’ll see that the colony pauses its expansion after reaching the first band of antibiotics, forming a distinct border between the white spreading colony and the black petri dish. However, the bacteria then begin edging into the toxic mass, and more dots appear and begin growing. They then sprint towards the next band of antibiotics. At the same time, the bacteria are evolving into a different strain, able to withstand more and higher doses of antibiotics. After two weeks, they have become resistant to the strongest antibiotic employed and have taken over the plate-sized black petri dish. Along the way, each evolving strain survives by taking over and absorbing competing mutant strains.

Scary stuff, indeed.

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