Apr 17, 2020

Researchers reveal the mechanisms behind a natural bacteria killer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, nanotechnology

Scientists are one step closer to adapting the bacteria-killing power of a naturally occurring nanomachine, a tiny particle that performs a mechanical action.

In a study published in Nature, a UCLA-led team of researchers describe how the nanomachine recognizes and kills bacteria, and report that they have imaged it at atomic resolution. The scientists also engineered their own versions of the nanomachine, which enabled them to produce variations that behaved differently from the naturally occurring version.

Their efforts could eventually lead to the development of new types of antibiotics that are capable of homing in on specific species of microbes. Drugs tailored to kill only a certain species or strain of bacteria could offer numerous advantages over conventional antibiotics, including lowering the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance. In addition, the tailored drugs could destroy harmful cells without wiping out beneficial bugs in the gut microbiome, and they could eventually offer the possibilities of being deployed to prevent bacterial infections, to kill pathogens in food and to engineer human microbiomes so that favorable bacteria thrive.

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