This sort of comes from the “why didn’t someone think of that sooner” department. I remember reading quite a while ago about how bacteria mutate more rapidly when under environmental stress. It looks like some blessedly bright folks took the next logical step of figuring out how they do it and how to stop them from doing it.

the team describes how a protein called LexA in the bacterium Escherichia coli promotes mutations and helps the pathogen evolve resistance to antibiotics. The scientists also show that E. coli evolution could be halted in its tracks by subjecting the bacteria to compounds that block LexA. Interfering with this protein renders the bacteria unable to evolve resistance to the common antibiotics ciprofloxacin and rifampicin.

Way to go, guys. This will save lives, and is the stuff that Nobel prizes are (or certainly should be) made of. If the folks in power had any real sense or concern for humanity instead of just for profit, they’d fast-track research aimed toward making such inhibitors generally (and cheaply) available, and then require that they be given to anyone receiving any of the newer antibiotics. Maybe then resistance won’t develop and we won’t need to face the prospect of returning to pre-antibiotic conditions.