Researchers at McMaster University are addressing the crisis in drug resistance with a novel approach to find new antibiotics.
“We have developed technology to find new antibiotics using laboratory conditions that mimic those of infection in the human body,” said Eric Brown, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
He is the lead author of the paper published in the online edition of Nature Chemical Biology today. Brown is also a member of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR).
The findings report on the discovery of chemical compounds that block the ability of bacteria to make vitamins and amino acids, processes that are emerging as Achilles’ heels for bacteria that infect the human body.
“The approach belies conventional thinking in antibiotic research and development, where researchers typically look for chemicals that block growth in the laboratory under nutrient-rich conditions, where vitamins and amino acids are plentiful,” said Brown. “But in the human body these substances are in surprisingly short supply and the bacteria are forced to make these and other building blocks from scratch.”
Brown’s research group targeted these processes looking for chemicals that blocked the growth of bacteria under nutrient-limited conditions.
“We threw away chemicals that blocked growth in conventional nutrient-rich conditions and focused instead on those that were only active in nutrient-poor conditions,” he said.
“We’re taking fresh aim at bacterial vitamin and amino acid production and finding completely novel antibacterial compounds.”
The approach and the new leads discovered by Brown’s lab have potential to provide much-needed therapies to address the growing global threat of antibiotic drug resistance.
“When it comes to this kind of new drug discovery technology, Brown’s group are fishing in a new pond,” said professor Gerry Wright, director of the IIDR. “These leads have real prospects as an entirely new kind of antibacterial therapy.”
Funding for the research was provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, a Canada Research Chair award and a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.
Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology