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  • How scientists are fighting antibiotic resistance

    GigaOM - 03/02/2015

    The inspiration behind the novel approach is that absolutely everything on the planet is teeming with microbes, which are engaged in a constant epic battle of survival of the fittest. Mid-fight, the microbes secrete biological weapons, aka antibiotics. Extracting those from the natural environment (teixobactin comes from a “grassy field in Maine,” the researchers say) by diluting a soil sample that is placed on special equipment allowed scientists to continue to grow them by immersing that equipment into a box of the very soil from which the diluted sample was extracted. From there, samples can divide and colonize, but these are “domesticated” colonies able to be grown in petri dishes.

    “Essentially, we’re tricking the bacteria,” said Dr. Kim Lewis, the senior author of the article and director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University in Boston. And that’s not easy. Tricking, outsmarting, evolving faster — however it’s put, humans have had a tough time throughout history being one step ahead of bacteria.

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