Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by mrpg on Monday April 16, @03:08PM   Printer-friendly
from the antibiotics++ dept.

A new class of antibiotics to combat drug resistance

Called odilorhabdins, or ODLs, the antibiotics are produced by symbiotic bacteria found in soil-dwelling nematode worms that colonize insects for food. The bacteria help to kill the insect and, importantly, secrete the antibiotic to keep competing bacteria away. Until now, these nematode-associated bacteria and the antibiotics they make have been largely understudied.

[...] UIC's Alexander Mankin and Yury Polikanov are corresponding authors on the study and led the research on the antibiotic's mechanism of action. They found that ODLs act on the ribosome — the molecular machine of individual cells that makes the proteins it needs to function — of bacterial cells. "Like many clinically useful antibiotics, ODLs work by targeting the ribosome," said Polikanov, assistant professor of biological sciences in the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, "but ODLs are unique because they bind to a place on the ribosome that has never been used by other known antibiotics."

Odilorhabdins, Antibacterial Agents that Cause Miscoding by Binding at a New Ribosomal Site (DOI: 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.03.001) (DX)

Meanwhile, an IBM research team has designed a polymer that can target at least five types of drug-resistant bacteria:

Earlier versions of synthetic polymers created problems because they essentially exploded the bacteria, releasing dangerous toxins into the bloodstream. While other scientists are researching different approaches to avoid resistance, most involve finding new molecules or proteins. IBM's synthetic molecule employs a completely different strategy.

It carries a negative electrical charge, so is drawn — like a magnet — to the positively charged surfaces of infectious cells. Then it binds to the cell, pierces the membrane, enters it and turns the inner liquid contents into solids. The new ninja polymer kills bacteria so quickly, they don't have time to mutate.

The eventual goal, said Hedrick, is to create an entirely new class of therapeutics that could treat a spectrum of infectious diseases with a single mechanism — without the onset of resistance.

Also at IBM.

A macromolecular approach to eradicate multidrug resistant bacterial infections while mitigating drug resistance onset (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03325-6) (DX)


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:43PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @03:43PM (#667664)

    so will this turn you into plastic man?

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DannyB on Monday April 16, @05:47PM (4 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @05:47PM (#667722)

      It does not sound like it would. It seems it would only affect cells within the invading organism. The ability to prevent the onset of resistance is not futile. Indeed it would mean that this technique could lead to completely irradiating irrationalizing irradicating certain bacteria. Just like getting rid of polio. (Except for the stupidity of keeping samples as a bio weapon in case we ever should have a madman who would want to use it that way.)

      I am assuming it is up to the kidneys to correctly query the cells which have the internal plastic so that those cells can be removed from the body.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:56PM (#667795)

        Except for the stupidity of keeping samples as a bio weapon in case we ever should have a madman who would want to use it that way.

        Thankfully, we would never elect such a man.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:40PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:40PM (#667811)

        I am assuming it is up to the kidneys to correctly query the cells which have the internal plastic so that those cells can be removed from the body.

        I doubt kidneys have a direct way in disposing this waste (would be too big). I think it is more likely that the "plastic" needs to be degraded first into much simpler molecules before the body can get rid of it. In the worst case it bioaccumulates inside your body.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday April 16, @09:57PM (1 child)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @09:57PM (#667821)

          This is way out of my field. (Although I am on the intarwebs, so nothing prevents me from pretending to be an expert!)

          Can the kidneys remove cell-sized objects? Or do they only work at the scale of molecules?

          (Where, as I understand it, a cell is a vast machine made up of many molecules.)

          --
          ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @08:25AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @08:25AM (#667965)

            Molecules. How they work is that they remove most water soluble components first (cells, like blood cells, but also bacteria, plasticized or not, are retained in the blood vessel) and transport back the usable components.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:26PM (#667747)

      > and turns the inner liquid contents into solids.

      We did that when I lived in an urban dorm -- boric acid sprinkled around the edges of the room converted cockroaches into little solid items that we could sweep up.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by fyngyrz on Monday April 16, @04:05PM (2 children)

    by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @04:05PM (#667675) Homepage Journal

    From TFS, emphasis mine:

    The eventual goal, said Hedrick, is to create an entirely new class of therapeutics that could treat a spectrum of infectious diseases with a single mechanism — without the onset of resistance

    Resistance doesn't (just) evolve from a lifeform that has received an insult; it also evolves because there are already versions of the lifeform that are resistant for whatever reason, and after the non-resistant ones are killed off, the resistant ones are the ones that remain to breed. These mutations may not have been common before, but can become common because they are no longer competing with non-resistant versions.

    Resistance, in general, can be a side effect of a mutation that has persisted for some other reason entirely.

    Having said that, this sounds like it's pretty powerful way to go about killing bacteria. Hope it works out.

    --
    The eyes are the windows to the soul.
    Sunglasses are the window shades.
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday April 16, @05:41PM (1 child)

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @05:41PM (#667720)

      The question is, does this anti-biotic also kill mammals? Other chordates?

      Since the bacteria kills it's host, it's clear that the anti-biotic it uses to protect it's food supply doesn't need to avoid killing anything but the bacteria itself.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:16PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:16PM (#667677)

    Do they have it in HandSoap, yet?!?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:50PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @04:50PM (#667694)

      As long as they don't start feeding it to cows/chicken (USA, Europe), and fish/shrimps (all of Asia) by the metric kiloton ...

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @05:43PM (#667721)

        Well, why shouldn't we? Drug resistance takes a while to develop, and as soon as you get that patent, time's a-wasting. Hopefully there will be bacteria resistant to this in the wild around the time the patent expires. Then we can cook up something else to sell.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by DannyB on Monday April 16, @05:50PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @05:50PM (#667726)

      Do they have it in HandSoap, yet?!?

      Silly rabbit. The best way to get crazy humans to ingest in jest the antibiotic is to put it into Tide pods. Not hand soup.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday April 16, @05:50PM (5 children)

    by acid andy (1683) on Monday April 16, @05:50PM (#667725) Journal

    So once humans have synthesized and used metric fucktons of bucketloads of these antibiotics and bacteria resistant to them start to thrive, will we have a sudden catastrophic drop in nematode populations, ruining soil fertility and causing eventual famine? If not, why not?

    --
    Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday April 16, @05:57PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @05:57PM (#667728)

      Profitability is the #1 concern.

      Second to that is the concern that, as long as it is profitable, that the famine occurs during your children's lifetime, and not in your lifetime.

      Your children's generation will be able to elect politicians that can fix everything.

      No happy.
      Be worry.

      God told us to take dominion over all the earth. Strip mine planet. Make it uninhabitable. Bless the harvest, as long as this "harvesting" of money is profitable.

      --
      ALL LIABILITY IS EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED FOR PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM READING THE SOURCE CODE.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:22PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @06:22PM (#667744)

        Not only that, but the Invisible Hand Fairy will provide. Specifically, it will provide my kids with plenty of your kids wealth, because my kids will hold all the patents necessary to grow food in the post-nematode-apocalypse future.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday April 16, @06:40PM (2 children)

      Mankind and other species existed for millions of years before antibiotic resistant "superbugs" existed. They will probably survive after peak antibiotic, albeit with stricter quarantine procedures and more previously preventable deaths.

      If a bacterium is resistant to every known antibiotic, does it have lower fitness compared to other bacteria? Maybe the problem will take care of itself.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:07PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @08:07PM (#667778)

        Mankind and other species existed for millions of years before antibiotic resistant "superbugs" existed.

        Given that nearly every class of antibiotics originated from some microbe found in nature, it's likely all the "superbug" genes had been out there also, since long before man. The only thing that changed, is humans spread the antibiotics outside their natural producers' habitats, making it beneficial for more microbial species to have the defences.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @04:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @04:14AM (#667946)

        That's a bit like saying mankind did well for such a long time before nuclear power plants... Antibiotic resistance was not an issue before antibiotics. We've seen many apocalyptic movies after a nuclear war for example. Sure, the mankind will survive. But it might be millions instead of billions. Which might not be a bad thing. It's just currently we're incredibly dependent on antibiotics. Many things now considered routine will become impossible. Having to do without antibiotics means literally going back to the dark Middle Ages. Pandemias will be back. Life will be as Hobbes put it "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short".

        The fitness question is good thinking and the answer is yes, they will have slightly lower general fitness. However in an environment where antibiotics are present they will of course have absolute advantage. Usually how it's discovered that some patient has a resistant strain is by noticing it's not reacting to antibiotic A ... and B and C. So by that time they will have pretty much the sole dominion of the patient and have had quite a long time to do their thing. And then there might be no way or time to combat it left.

        It's a good thing we've finally stumbled upon new things. I'm just worried they will be rendered useless like all the previous ones because of abuse and in a much shorter time span. Looking at you agro industry.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:35PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @09:35PM (#667809)

    The new ninja polymer kills bacteria so quickly, they don't have time to mutate.

    Maybe the IBM scientists should keep themselves to computers... or at least get educated on how evolution/building resistance actually works. They aren't pokemon you know.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @10:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, @10:00AM (#667977)

    Good to see them doing something that may be useful internally - to kill off the bacteria that infests the shitty hotels miles away from home that they force their employees to live in for months at a time.

(1)