In order to combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, a group of scientists from MIT are using artificial intelligence to discover new and effective antibiotics. They were able to predict a powerful new antibiotic compound that is effective against many dangerous pathogens. Continue reading Artificial Intelligence – our new MVP against infections?
by Gregory Brunette figures by Daniel Utter Every year, new biology students dig for tiny, bacteria-infecting viruses called phages. Short for bacteriophages, these ubiquitous viruses thrive unseen in the world around us, replicating endlessly through their host bacteria. Phages outnumber all other living organisms on Earth; and their overwhelming diversity presents a challenge to the researchers who study them. In a program administered by Dr. … Continue reading Superbug Treatments Live in the Dirt
Our skin is a protective barrier to bacterial infection, but damage to the skin allows bacteria to enter. Normally, our immune system kills the bacteria and allows wounds to heal. However, certain diseases can overload the immune system and lead to heavy infection. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat heavy bacterial infection, but bacteria can develop drug resistance after too much exposure. A team at … Continue reading The Quest for Better Bandages Turns to Nanofibers
by Francesca Tomasi figures by Aparna Nathan Too Much of a Good Thing? Ninety years ago, Alexander Fleming happened upon the chemical compound penicillin and sparked a medical revolution. It was a serendipitous occasion – Fleming had been growing plates of bacteria in his lab when he noticed some mold growing on one of them. Just some classic contamination, he probably thought, ready to discard … Continue reading Less of the Same: Rebooting the antibiotic pipeline
by Veerasak “Jeep” Srisuknimit figures by Jovana Andrejevic Our time with antibiotics is running out. In 2016, a woman in Nevada died from a bacterial infection caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae that was resistant to all available antibiotics. Bacteria that is resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort, has been discovered on pig farms in China. Bacteria have been evolving to resist antibiotics faster than … Continue reading Bacteriophage: A solution to our antibiotics problem?
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, bacterial infections were the leading cause of death worldwide. Now, treating infections is often a routine procedure – simply requiring a doctor’s visit and a prescribed antibiotic. However, this simple routine has become marred by the emergence of antibiotic resistance. The misuse and overuse of antibiotics is fueling the rise of resistant bacteria. In response to antibiotic exposure, bacteria have evolved … Continue reading Expanding the Antibiotic Arsenal: A New Drug of Last Resort
It’s an all-too-common refrain nowadays, but antibiotic resistance remains one of the world’s most severe public health threats. Bacteria have developed resistance to nearly every antibiotic drug in our arsenal, and the Healthcare Infection Society has estimated that 10 million people will die annually from antibiotic-resistant bacteria by 2050. Hoping to reverse these worrying trends, researchers from Oregon State University and Sarepta Therapeutics have developed … Continue reading Reversing Resistance: How to teach old antibiotics new tricks
by Gabriel W. Rangel figures by Michael Gerhardt How many times per day do you wash your hands? Do you ever think about the type of soap you use? We all know handwashing with soap is an impactful way to maintain health by decreasing the risk of becoming infected with one germ or another. Therefore, using soap with antibacterial compounds added is a no-brainer, right? … Continue reading Say Goodbye to Antibacterial Soaps: Why the FDA is banning a household item
Antibiotics are powerful drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Recently, however, a growing number of bacterial infections have developed resistance to many commonly used antibiotics. In fact, the World Health Organization has pegged antibiotic resistance as one of the world’s biggest threats to global health! Bacteria acquire antibiotic resistance by changing in a way that reduces drug effectiveness. In a recent article, a research team … Continue reading New technology lets researchers visualize the evolution of antibiotic resistance
In May, researchers identified for the first time a bacterial infection in the US that was resistant to the last-resort antibiotic colistin. Colistin was the last remaining antibiotic effective against all bacteria in the country – a weapon of last resort. This particular infection was sensitive to other antibiotics and was cured, but the presence of colistin resistant bacteria in the US (it was known … Continue reading Bacteria Resistant to Last-Line Antibiotic Found in US