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Bacteria’s Genes Turn Against It

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered a new way to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria by using the bacteria's own genes.

For more than 50 years, antibiotics have been used to treat a variety of deadly infections and saved countless lives. Its broad introduction and application has changed the face of medicine worldwide.

Yet, despite the advances made to antibiotics over the years, the list of antibiotic resistant bacteria, such as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter, is growing and becoming one of the world's most serious health concerns. Infections once routinely treatable have now become more difficult to combat and potentially more lethal.

That's where Paul Jackson and his LLNL team come in. The group has taken a new approach to combating antibiotic resistant bacteria by developing a new generation of antibiotics, based upon a much deeper understanding of the bacteria's own genes. The method consists of turning the pathogens' own genes and processes against it.

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