Sign up FAST! Login

Want to Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria? Forget About Antibiotics | WIRED

Stashed in: Science!, Medicine, Science, Medical, Nanotech!, Microbiome, CRISPR

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Not sure which of these is best. What do you think?

Harness viruses

STATUS: Human clinical trials

Bacteria have natural predators called phages—viruses that replicate inside the organisms and burst out to destroy them, Alien-style. One upcoming trial pits phages against bugs in infected burn wounds, while another targets drug-resistant staph.

Mute bacterial genes

STATUS: Animal testing

Scientists can design DNA-like molecules that block specific genes so cells can't translate the code into proteins. No proteins for cell division or membrane-building means bye-bye bacteria.

Militarize harmless bugs

STATUS: Animal testing

Bacteria already attack competing bugs with toxins called bacteriocins; doctors just need to get them to target the right ones. Researchers engineered a strain to deploy these chemicals only when they detect pheromones from a pathogenic bug.

Edit out bad bacteria

STATUS: Proof of concept

A recently discovered gene-editing system called Crispr attacks bacteria by destroying their DNA. It searches out gene sequences unique to drug-resistant strains and then chops up the strands to annihilate the organisms.

At first glance Crispr looks interesting but I'll need to learn more.

Where did you read about Crispr? I'd like to learn more.

You May Also Like: