The Phaserl


Scientists Call GMO Antibiotics ‘Better Science’ Solution to Superbugs

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have figured out a way to re-engineer vancomycin, considered an antibiotic of last resort, to fight the spread of drug-resistant superbugs.

Vancomycin has been used for 60 years, with a few bacterial strains developing a resistance to the drug in recent times. The antibiotic works by breaking apart the structure the bacterial cells, which effectively disrupts and discourages the spread of harmful bacteria in the human body.

Earlier in 2017, researchers at University College London announced they had modified antibiotics to “blow up” deadly superbugs.

There are a few bugs that have started to become resistant to vancomycin, and those bacteria have been deemed by the World Health Organization and the CDC as some of the most dangerous on the planet.

The researchers write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they made vancomycin 1,000 times more powerful by fiddling with the medication’s molecules, which means doctors can use less of the antibiotic to treat resistant infections. In turn, bacteria would be less able to become resistant to it.

Scientists claim that their modified version of vancomycin is also “smarter” in that it can fight off bacteria in 3 different ways. Should an invading bacterium manage to overcome one of the drug’s defenses, there are still 2 other ways for the antibiotic to kill it.

Dale Boger, of TSRI’s Department­ of Chemistry, said:

“Organisms can’t just simultaneously work to find a way around 3. Even if they find a solution to 1, the organisms would still be killed by the other 2. This increases the durability of the antibiotic.”

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