Friday, January 1, 2016

Radically new idea for next generation of antibiotics?

Bacteria make antibiotics naturally, which means that if you can grow new bacteria in a lab, the microbes can offer up new drugs. Unfortunately, for the past century, microbiologists have failed to unlock the secret to cultivating the vast majority of bacterial species.

Now [Slava] Epstein and his colleagues have found a way to make many of them thrive.

"Everyone thought the solution would be high-tech," said Epstein. But the one that he and his colleagues have found is remarkably straightforward. They raise bacteria by giving them a comfortable place to grow — a disk or a box will do. A company they founded, called NovoBiotic, is now testing the antibiotics made by the bacteria in the hopes of putting them into clinical trials.

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