IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Shanghai have designed a new type of polymer that can detect and destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. The polymer nanostructures also prevent bacteria from developing drug resistance. Moreover, because of the mechanism by which the nanostructures work, they don’t affect circulating blood cells, and, unlike most traditional antimicrobial agents, the nanostructures are biodegradable, naturally eliminated from the body rather than remaining behind and accumulating in tissues.
From the Nature Chemistry abstract by Nederberg, et al.: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*
The single most important medicine ever discovered is the antibiotic. Prior to 1930, humans died at early ages of simple infections and even childbirth was a major killer of women because of infection. The mortality rate from simple staph aureus was as high as 80%, but between 1944 and 1972 the human life expectancy jumped by 8 years because of antibiotics. By 1950 the golden age of antibiotics was already looking tarnished as organisms became resistant to the drugs. Now many medical advances that we take for granted, including cancer treatment, surgery, transplantation and neonatal care are endangered by increasing antibiotic resistance and a decline in new medications to combat the super germs.
Drug resistance is both a public health and global security threat. Resistance has emerged for all known antibiotics in use. For most antibiotics, resistant genes have created super bugs that require more combinations of antibiotics to treat and there are certain infections that we cannot effectively treat. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*