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‘Side-kick’ drugs could improve antibiotics

A new technique designed to make current antibiotics more effective works by disabling select genes in bacteria.

Described in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the technique systematically identifies genes within E. coli bacteria that inhibit the production of molecules called reactive oxygen species (ROS) that damage the bacteria’s DNA.

Once those genes are disabled, the bacteria dramatically increase their production of the DNA-damaging molecules, enabling lower doses of existing antibiotics to kill the more vulnerable bacteria.
 
 

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