Sunday, April 15, 2018

New Hope for Antibiotics from Backyard Soil

Researchers at Rockefeller University in New York have discovered new antibiotics  called malacidins from a bag of backyard dirt. Through innovative genetic sequencing techniques, researchers are able to sequence thousands of soil bacteria that they couldn't grow or study in the lab before. Biochemists at the Rockefeller Laboratory for Genetically Encoded Small Molecules said that they put the DNA extracted from the soil and put it into a bug that could easily be grown in the laboratory to see if it could develop new molecules.
Current Studies of the new antibiotic show that the new compounds interfere with infectious bacteria's  ability to build up cell walls. In lab tests, bacteria was exposed to the new antibiotic for 21 days and did not develop a resistance. It is also showing safe and positive results in mice, but there are currently no plans to do human testing yet as more testing needs to be done first.
The discovery of new types of antibiotics is very important as over time, bacteria become more and more resistant to antibiotics currently available, making it difficult to be able to kill these resistant strains as medicine runs out of stronger antibiotics.

Article: Scientists Unearth Hope for New Antibiotics
Original Study: Culture-independent discovery of the malacidins as calcium-dependent antibiotics with activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens

1 comment:

  1. This is really cool to think that new scientific discoveries can be found in your backyard. I agree with you with the importance of the discovery of new antibiotics. It is interesting that the antibiotics do show improvements to model organisms' immune system.