Can the “Nightmare Bacteria” Be Stopped? – Live Chat Wed. 12 p.m. ET

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The age of antibiotics may be coming to an end.

The world is facing a rise of superbugs that modern antibiotics are powerless to stop. In Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria, veteran journalist David Hoffman examines the disturbing rise of what the CDC has termed “nightmare bacteria” — and investigates why many drug companies have abandoned the development of new antibiotics needed to stop them.

“Twenty-five years ago, there were more than 25 large companies working to discover and develop new antibiotics,” infectious disease doctor Brad Spellberg tells FRONTLINE. “Now there’s two, maybe three.”

The bacteria are spreading in frightening ways with alarming speed, both across the globe and inside hospitals — though few hospitals are willing to talk about the problem publicly.

What can we do to stop or slow their spread? How can you minimize the risks of catching one of these bugs? What government agency is responsible for responding to the threat — and is it doing enough? What will make pharmaceutical companies return to antibiotic research?

We’ve asked Hoffman and producer Rick Young to join us in a live chat to answer those questions — and take yours. They’ll be joined by an infectious disease expert featured in the film, Dr. Sean Elliot.

They’ll also be joined by special guest questioner Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor for BoingBoing.net. Follow her on Twitter @MaggieKB1.

You can leave a question in the chat window below, and come by at 12 p.m. ET on Oct. 23 to join the live discussion.

We’d like to thank BoingBoing for partnering with us on today’s chat.

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