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
Filling intercropping info gap
16.11.2017 | American Society of Agronomy
Climate change, population growth may lead to open ocean aquaculture
05.10.2017 | Oregon State University
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses