Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Decoy Makes Sitting Duck Of Superbugs

05.12.2007
A DNA-based therapy could slash the development time of new drugs to combat antibiotic resistant superbugs.

Scientists from the John Innes Centre have proven that by taking a short stretch of DNA from a bacterium and delivering it with an existing antibiotic they can switch off antibiotic resistance.

Together with technology transfer company PBL, the scientists have launched a spin-out company, Procarta Biosystems Ltd, to develop the technology.

“The DNA sequence acts as a decoy, disrupting gene expression and blocking resistance”, said Dr Michael McArthur from JIC.

“We are putting genetic information directly into drugs. This is the first application of a DNA based therapy”.

The scientists have also patented a way of discovering decoys in bacteria without necessarily having to know the genes involved. This means they can develop effective new drugs against any bacterium within a couple of years and at a fraction of the normal cost.

The technology can give fresh patent life to existing antibiotics - when combined with a decoy they can be patented as a new drug.

This comes at a time when the number of new antibiotics receiving approval has dramatically declined. Faced with antibiotic resistance the pharmaceutical industry is unlikely to be able to deliver new products.

“Natural resistance will always be hot on the heels of a new antibiotic because they co-evolve”, said Dr McArthur. “Ours’ is not a traditional pharmaceutical approach and provides a completely new challenge to bacteria”.

The technology can also be used to improve the production of antibiotics by bacteria and to produce enzymes and other compounds using bacteria for use in industrial processes.

Many industrial processes are harsh and unsustainable, using petrochemicals, high temperatures and creating toxic by-products. In industrial biotechnology, also called “white biotechnology”, bacteria make medically and commercially important compounds biologically.

“By using bacteria, many industrial processes could be cleaned up”, said Dr McArthur.

The Procarta scientists found that the bacterium Streptomyces produces a particularly high yield of enzymes and proteins. Unusually, it can also secrete the proteins it produces so they do not have to be extracted.

“Streptomyces is the enzyme producing bacterium with bells and whistles, set to make a major contribution to a market already predicted to be worth £400 million by 2010”, said Dr McArthur.

We use the products of white biotechnology in our everyday lives. They contribute to ingredients in the food we eat, energy we use that has been generated with renewable biomass rather than fossil fuels, medicines we take, and everyday products such as detergents, paint and paper.

Zoe Dunford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jic.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>