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Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

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In proteins, a possible antibiotic revolution

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The problem with antibiotics? We’re running out of them.

Over the last half-decade, our arsenal of powerful bacteria-killing medicines has slowly (though in biological time, rapidly) been depleted as nature, through evolution, outwits our efforts to develop chemical tools that can save us from some of the world’s most deadly diseases.

San Francisco-based startup AvidBiotics believes there’s a better way to tackle the problem; one that doesn’t include antibodies.

The company announced on Monday that it has developed a new antibacterial protein targeted against the O157:H7 strain of E. coli, demonstrating that food-borne bacterial infections can be fought without deploying a derivative of penicillin.

The protein, which is orally administered, can prevent or treat diarrhea and intestinal inflammation from this particular strain of E. coli, regardless of whether it’s taken as a preventative measure or immediately after the onset of symptoms.
 
 

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