Ants, like humans, deal with disease. To deal with the bacteria that cause some of these diseases, some ants produce their own antibiotics. A new comparative study identified some ant species that make use of powerful antimicrobial agents – but found that 40 percent of ant species tested didn’t appear to produce antibiotics. The study has applications regarding the search for new antibiotics that can be used in humans. (more…)
Tag Archives: antibiotics
AUSTIN, Texas — Biologists at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a method for rapidly screening hundreds of thousands of potential drugs for fighting infections, an innovation that holds promise for combating the growing scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The method involves engineering bacteria to produce and test molecules that are potentially toxic to themselves. (more…)
This summer, the new Yale Center for Pulmonary Infection Research and Treatment (CPIRT) held its first meeting, with the goal of breathing fresh air into the science of lung infection. Conceived by associate professor Dr. Charles Dela Cruz as a cross-disciplinary hub for investigators, CPIRT brings together innovative minds from basic, translational, and clinical research areas across Yale. The center’s ultimate aim is to develop better treatments for both acute and chronic ailments — from pandemic flu to emphysema — that are affected by lung infections. (more…)
‘Souped-up’ antibiotics could give doctors an advantage over bacteria that develop immunity to medicines
We face an urgent global health problem because scientists are not developing new antibiotics as fast as bacteria are developing antibiotic resistance. (more…)
Herbivores Dine on Toxic Plants, Thanks to Gut Microbes
Woodrats lost their ability to eat toxic creosote bushes after antibiotics killed their gut microbes. Woodrats that never ate the plants were able to do so after receiving fecal transplants with microbes from creosote-eaters, University of Utah biologists found. (more…)
Sequencing of harmless oral bacterium offers insights about its disease-causing relative
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have pieced together sections of DNA from 12 individual cells to sequence the genome of a bacterium known to live in healthy human mouths.
With this new data about a part of the body considered “biological dark matter,” the researchers were able to reinforce a theory that genes in a closely related bacterium could be culprits in its ability to cause severe gum disease. (more…)
A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at Brown and MIT have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — As concerns about bacterial resistance to antibiotics grow, researchers are racing to find new kinds of drugs to replace ones that are no longer effective. One promising new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — kills bacteria in a way that no marketed antibacterial drug does — by altering the pathway through which cells rid themselves of harmful proteins. (more…)
Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. Populations of disease-causing bacteria evolve, for example, as doctors flood their “environment,” the human body, with antibiotics. Insects, animals and plants can make evolutionary adaptations in response to pesticides, heavy metals and overfishing.
Previous studies have shown that the more gradual the change, the better the chances for “evolutionary rescue” – the process of mutations occurring fast enough to allow a population to avoid extinction in changing environments. One obvious reason is that more individuals remain alive when change is gradual or moderate, meaning there are more opportunities for a winning mutation to emerge. (more…)