Keeping Up with Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

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Researchers have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses against antibiotics
Researchers have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses against antibiotics(Credit: exty/Depositphotos)

Bacteria are quickly evolving resistances to antibiotics, to the extent that our best drugs might not work in the terrifyingly-near future. Scientists are hard at work developing new antibiotics, or finding ways to make existing ones more effective. Now, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University have found a new way to weaken bacterial defenses, slowing down the development of antibiotic resistance.

The team is targeting gram-negative bacteria, a class of bugs that includes famous faces like E. coli and Salmonella. These organisms can be tricky to kill, thanks to their two-pronged defense systems – their double-layered cell membranes do a better job of keeping antibiotics at bay, and if any drug particles do make it through, they can pump them back out.

But the Jefferson team discovered a way to disable both defenses at once. The key lies in transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules, which play a part in building proteins vital for cell function. In earlier work, the researchers discovered that depriving tRNAs of a particular chemical group caused them to make more errors when building certain proteins. Those proteins, it turns out, help stabilize cell membranes and keep those toxin pumps working – so messing with them could weaken bacterial defenses.

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About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).