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Bacteria have evolved resistance to every known class of antibiotic, creating an urgent need for methods to identify new antibiotics that work by different mechanisms. We have developed a new approach to antibiotic discovery that provides a short cut for identifying antibacterial molecules and understanding how they work. To do this, we use high resolution microscopy to perform the equivalent of an autopsy on the bacterial cell to understand why it died. Our new method represents the first time that a single test can be performed and identify the likely mechanism of action for a new compound. We are now using this new method to screen for new antibiotics that work against drug resistant pathogens.
 
 

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