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New Imagining Technique Could Lead To Better Antibiotics And Cancer Drugs

A recently devised method of imaging the chemical communication and warfare between microorganisms could lead to new antibiotics, antifungal, antiviral and anti-cancer drugs, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

The new article was published Nov. 8 in Nature Chemical Biology. It describes a technique developed by a collaborative team that includes Dr. Paul Straight, AgriLife Research scientist in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at Texas A&M University in College Station, Dr. Pieter Dorrestein, Yu-Liang Yang and Yuquan Xu, all at the University of California, San Diego.

"Microorganisms encode in their genomes the capacity to produce many small molecules that are potential new antibiotics," Straight said. "Because we do not understand the circumstances under which those molecules are produced in the environment, we see only a small fraction of them in the laboratory."
 
 

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