On a quiet afternoon in early March, a dozen or so high school juniors strolled into a science classroom at South Texas College. They put on white lab coats and then got to work.
Earlier in the school year, they had scooped samples of dirt from their backyards and other areas to find special viruses that eat bacteria cells. Now they huddled around laptops to analyze clusters of DNA they had extracted from the pathogens. The goal was to find an unknown virus — a discovery that could pave the way for an alternative to antibiotics.