DailyDirt: Killing Those Tiny Germs

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The overuse of antibiotics may be leading us into the "post-antibiotic era" where we'll face numerous bacteria that are resistant to our most advanced drugs. We may need to develop different strategies for identifying antibiotics or try various phage therapies to fend off antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Here are just a few links on finding new antibiotics and using bacteriophages in medicine. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 16 Oct 2014 @ 5:16pm

    Viruses are not evil. Bacteriophages actually keep us healthy by infecting and killing off disease-causing bacteria. Phage therapy could be a viable alternative to using antibiotics, but using viruses to fight off infections is not a widely used procedure in Western medicine (yet).

    For some reason, the first thing I think of when I hear this is an old song, that sounds like a cautionary tale about just this kind of scenario...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Oct 2014 @ 6:10pm

    I've always thought medical research should start focusing on nanotechnology. Bacteria can resist chemicals, but they couldn't resist tiny robots with tiny lasers.

    So, which would be more accessible and/or less likely to cause the end of the world: phage therapy, or nano therapy?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 8:36am


    One of the reasons that I'm not afraid of ebola is because of things like MRSA and KPC-Oxa. Those are real, serious threats that we have few, and declining, defenses against right now. Ebola is much easier to control and manage than those are. If I'm going to fear disease, ebola isn't even in my top 10. MRSA is in the top three.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Marvin (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 5:52am

    Antibiotic resistance

    Bacteria mutate quickly. I presented with a specific antibiotic, bacterial mutations that are resistant to that antibiotic are favored. and you get antibiotic resistant bacteria that are favored. However, in the absence of those specific antibiotics the bacteria without extraneous functions (such as antibiotic resistance structural alterations) will be out-competed by non-resistant bacteria. The solution here is to take certain types of antibiotics out of circulation for a period, say 5 years and reintroduce them. If this is done cyclically then we will have ways to counter "resistant" bacteria.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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