Penicillin and other antibiotics have revolutionized medicine, turning once-deadly diseases into easily treatable ailments. However, while antibiotics have been in use for more than 70 years, the exact mechanism by which they kill bacteria has remained a mystery.Now a new study by MIT and Boston University researchers reveals the killing mechanism behind all three major classes of antibiotics: The drugs produce destructive molecules that fatally damage bacterial DNA through a long chain of cellular events. Understanding the details of this mechanism could help scientists improve existing drugs, according to the researchers. Few new antibiotics have been developed in the past 40 years, and many strains of bacteria have become resistant to the drugs now available.“One could enhance the killing efficacy of our current arsenal, reduce the required doses or resensitize strains to existing antibiotics,” says James Collins, a professor of biomedical engineering at BU, who collaborated with Graham Walker, MIT...
- Scientists use nature against nature to develop an antibiotic with reduced resistanceWed, 10 Apr 2013, 23:35:42 EDT
- Structure of antibiotic ramoplanin reveals promising mechanismMon, 3 Aug 2009, 17:33:53 EDT
- Antibiotics as active mutagens in the emergence of multidrug resistanceThu, 11 Feb 2010, 13:31:29 EST
- Image of new antibiotic in action opens up new opportunities to combat antibacterial resistanceWed, 4 Aug 2010, 13:38:47 EDT
- Low levels of antibiotics cause multidrug resistance in 'superbugs'Thu, 11 Feb 2010, 15:02:44 EST