Antibiotic resistance is a pressing concern worldwide. In order to prevent this bacterial insensitivity, it is critical to fully understand the antibiotics we currently use. A study published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by researchers from the Broad Institute, MIT, Harvard University, and Massachusetts General Hospital focused on the ways in which antibiotics upset bacterial metabolism, as well as the effects of bacterial metabolism on antibiotics. Some antibiotics directly kill bacteria while others simply hinder growth — and not only can these two drug types interact, but they also impact cellular respiration differently. These findings suggest that susceptibility to antibiotics may be linked to bacterial metabolism.