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Million-Year-Old 'Hero Bug' Emerges From Cave

Accepted submission by Phoenix666 at 2016-12-12 15:15:09
Science

Scientists have found a superbug— hidden 1,000 feet underground in a cave — which is resistant to 70 percent of antibiotics and can totally inactivate many of them [npr.org].

But here's the kicker. This bacterium has been isolated from people, society — and drugs — for 4 million years, scientists report [nature.com] Thursday in the journal Nature Communications.

That means it hasn't been exposed to human drugs in a clinic or on a farm that uses them. But it has the machinery to knock out these drugs. And that machinery has been around for millions of years.

...

Because, Barton says, the bacterium is helping scientists understand where antibiotic resistance comes from and, hopefully, new ways to stop it. And the bacterium — called Paenibacillus (pronounced "penny-bacillus") — isn't pathogenic. It won't hurt you. It's just capable of evading many, many antibiotics.


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