The frightening spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs threatens to return medicine to the pre-antibiotic era, with the return of deadly infectious diseases long thought vanquished. Each year, more than 2 million people in the United States get antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 23,000 of them die. Unless breakthroughs are achieved, that toll will keep rising. If a new version of an antibiotic of last resort lives up to

its promise, that date with doom may be averted. A study on this bolstered form of vancomycin by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute was released Monday. Researchers led by Dale Boger, co-chair of Scripps’ Department of Chemistry, introduced three modifications to vancomycin, all lethal to bacteria and independent of each other. Superbugs need to overcome all three changes to survive, which is extremely unlikely, the study said. READ MORE