12 Grand challenges that matter in 2017

Source: BBC

HOW CAN WE AVOID RESISTANCE TO ANTIBIOTICS?

Grand Challenges

Future Now asked 50 experts – scientists, technologists, business leaders and entrepreneurs – to name what they saw as the most important issues of the 21st Century.

Inspired by these responses, we’re publishing a series of feature articles and videos that take an in-depth look at the biggest challenges we face today.

“More needs to be done to improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent drug resistant infections and to speed up development of new antibiotics to replace those no longer effective in protecting us against deadly infections. Modern medicine depends on doctors having effective drugs to treat infections. But many common infections are becoming more difficult to treat because bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs available. Drug-resistant infection – or antimicrobial resistance – is a very serious health threat to us all. Already it results in around 700,000 deaths a year globally. Within a generation it could be 10 million; it could mean we can no longer safely carry out not only complex, lifesaving treatments such as chemotherapy and organ transplants but also more routine operations like caesareans and hip replacements.”

— Tim Jinks, Head of Drug Resistant Infections at Wellcome Trust

Grand Challenges

Climate change, droughts and global city development will all impact how we use (and conserve) water in the immediate future. (Credit: Getty Images)

WHAT CAN WE DO TO CONSERVE WATER — ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND URBANISATION?

“The one major challenge we will face due to urbanisation will be ‘water security’. We are already grappling with this problem across our developing member countries and with deteriorating river or surface water quality, lack of sufficient ground water sources and increasing dependence on sea water as a supply source. We have to bring in innovations in water management. Treatment technology, water aquifer mapping, recycling and reuse of wastewater, and more are areas of R&D investment.”

— Vijay Padmanabhan, Asian Development Bank, Technical Advisor (Urban)

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