Slovakia Today, English Language Current Affairs Programme from Slovak Radio (31.8.2021 16:00)

 
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With the emergence of so-called ‘superbugs’ – bacteria that are resistant to our current range of antibiotics – researchers have become focused on trying to develop new and more powerful ones. But how are such new medications found? Are they invented, or discovered? In this the second part of their discussion, organic chemist Pavol Jakubec speaks with Jonathan about how he and his team have taken their cue from nature, in discovering and developing what he hopes will eventually be a new antibiotic capable of killing the most dangerous and resistent forms of bacteria that we know of. Repeat: As plastic waste continues to be a problem globally – with tiny micro-plastic particles contaminating even our drinking water, with unknown effects on our health – efforts are being made to address the issue, including here in central Europe. Plastic Free Danube was one such recent effort, an international collaboration between scientific institutions and others in Austria and Slovakia. Their goal was to monitor the Danube (or Dunaj) river between Vienna and Bratislava, hoping to get some sense of how much plastic ends up in the river and where it originates. Jonathan spoke with one of the project’s main participants, Mária Omastová of the Slovak Academy of Science’s Polymer Institute.

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