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Slaying bacteria with their own weapons

06/26/2014
A chemist at Washington University in St. Louis is studying siderophores, iron chelating molecules released by bacteria during an infection, with the thought of using them to design personalized antibiotic therapy that would avoid the rapid evolution of resistance that plagues antibiotic drug discovery. The siderophores, he thinks, can be ...

New drugs for bad bugs

03/05/2014
Washington University in St Louis chemist Timothy Wencewicz says we’ll stay ahead of antibiotic resistance only if we find drugs with new scaffolds, or core chemical structures. One promising candidate, an antibiotic made by a bacterium than infects plants, caught his attention because it contains an “enchanted ring,” the beta-lactam ...

Microbes buy low and sell high

01/15/2014
Single-celled organisms have been shown to avoid bad trading partners, build local business ties, diversify or specialize in a particular commodity, save for a rainy day, eliminate the competition and otherwise behave in ways that seem to follow market-based principles.The question, a team of scientists ask, is which, if any, ...

Model Organism gone wild

09/13/2013
Some wild clones of social amoebas farm the bacteria they eat, but this is a losing strategy if nonfarming amoebas can steal the farmers’ crops. To make the strategy work, the farmers also carry bacteria that secrete chemicals that poison free riders. The work suggest farming is complex evolutionary adaptation ...

Protein that delays cell division in bacteria may lead to idenfication of new antibiotics

08/12/2013
Bacteria adjust to wide fluctuations in food supply by controlling how big they get and how often they divide. Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have just worked out the control system E. coli use to delay division so they can bulk up when food suddently becomes abundant. What ...
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