Saturday, January 18, 2014
A timeline of the many once effective antibiotics and the drug-resistant organisms that have since emerged.
Created by Switchyard Media

A timeline of the many once effective antibiotics and the drug-resistant organisms that have since emerged.

Created by Switchyard Media

Monday, August 26, 2013 Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Treating bacteria with a silver-containing compound boosted the efficacy of a broad range of widely used antibiotics and helped them stop otherwise lethal infections in mice. It helped make an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria sensitive to antibiotics again. And it expanded the power of an antibiotic called vancomycin that is usually only effective in killing pathogens called Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staph and Strep. Silver allowed vancomycin for the first time to penetrate and kill Gram-negative bacteria, a group that includes microbes that can cause food poisoning and dangerous hospital-acquired infections.

Silver also proved useful for two types of stubborn infections that usually require repeated rounds of antibiotic treatment and multiple visits to the clinic: dormant bacteria that lie low during antibiotic treatment and rebound to cause recurrent infections, and microbial slime layers called biofilms that coat catheters and prosthetic joints.

“The results suggest that silver could be incredibly valuable as an adjunct to existing antibiotic treatments,” said Jim Collins, Ph.D., a pioneer of synthetic biology and Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute, who is also the William F. Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University, where he leads the Center of Synthetic Biology.
A Shot in the Arm for Old Antibiotics
Thursday, September 20, 2012 Tuesday, July 10, 2012 Monday, June 25, 2012 Wednesday, April 11, 2012 Friday, January 20, 2012
Explored this week in back-to-back papers in the journal Nature, the survey reveals a pathogenic landscape in which HIV’s handful of proteins makes hundreds of physical connections with human proteins and other components inside the cell.

In one paper, the team details 497 such connections, only a handful of which had been previously recognized by scientists. Disrupting these connections may interfere with HIV’s lifecycle, and the existence of so many new connections suggests there may be several novel ways to target the virus.

“Have we identified new drug targets?” said Nevan Krogan, PhD, who led the research. “I believe we have.”
Pathogenic Landscape of HIV: Hundreds of Connections Between Viral and Human Proteins Identified in Work That May Reveal New Drug Targets
Friday, January 6, 2012
By the end of 2011, few governments or scientific committees were satisfied with the actions that had been taken to date to limit publication of the methods Fouchier and Kawaoka deployed, and most were frankly frightened. The Fouchier episode laid bare the emptiness of biological-weapons prevention programs on the global, national, and local levels. Along with several older studies that are now garnering fresh attention, it has revealed that the political world is completely unprepared for the synthetic-biology revolution. Flu Season by Laurie Garrett
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