Microbes with a penchant for penicillin pose a challenge for researchers.

In the world of bacteria, joining the resistance movement, far from being subversive, is rapidly becoming the norm.

So much so, one report estimates that the galloping number of infections resistant to any form of antibiotic could cut short the lives of 300 million people and cost the global economy USD 100 trillion by 2050.

And now for the bad news.

Bacteria are carrying another ace up their single-celled sleeves: they have a penchant for dining out on antibiotics. Yes, eating them.

That might seem to be the coup de grâce for the hapless antibiotic, but a new study led by Gautam Dantas from the Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, US, has worked out how some bacterial strains do it, a finding that could turn the tables on the smarty-pants bugs.

Read the full article in Cosmos magazine here