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Scientists Find New Bacteria That Feasts On Antibiotics

Scientists have found a soil bacteria that not only resists the toxic effects of antibiotics -- it makes a meal out of them.

Many bacteria can protect themselves from antibiotics by modifying the compounds to make them harmless or by pumping the compounds out of their cells entirely. And other bacteria in soil have been found capable of living off of pesticides and herbicides. But study author and Agri-Food Canada microbiology researcher Ed Topp thinks that his team's discovery is the first instance of a microbe that can both resist and consume antibiotics.

“I think it’s kind of a game changer in terms of how we think about our environment and antibiotic resistance,” he said in a statement Thurday.
 
 

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