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Discriminating Antibiotics

Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria,...
Researchers at Penn State have developed an antibiotic that targets a specific species of bad bacteria, without harming the good ones in your gut(Credit: phodopus/Depositphotos)

Antibiotics are effective at killing bacteria (for now, at least), but they aren’t very picky, indiscriminately wiping out both good and bad bacteria. This can upset the fragile balance of your microbiome, which is increasingly being linked to general health and wellbeing. Now, researchers at Penn State have developed a new approach to make a drug that can single out a specific, opportunistic bacteria known as C. difficile. read more

Tobacco Antibiotics Attacks Superbugs

La Trobe researchers have isolated a peptide from tobacco flowers that could be a promising new...
La Trobe researchers have isolated a peptide from tobacco flowers that could be a promising new antibiotic candidate(Credit: La Trobe University)

The world is in desperate need of new antibiotics, as bacteria continue to evolve and develop resistance to the ones we have. Now, researchers at La Trobe University have found a peptide in the flower of a tobacco plant that could be the first of a brand new kind of antibiotic, hopefully helping us avoid the looming doomsday of superbugs. read more

Harvard Breaking Down Bacterial Walls

In this artist's rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA...
In this artist’s rendition of a bacterium, the blue dots represent the cell wall-building protein RodA – and disrupting that protein’s function could be key to a new class of antibiotic(Credit: Harvard Medical School)

Bacteria can be hardy little creatures, thanks mostly to their strong cell walls that can protect them against drugs, viruses and other dangers. Finding ways to disarm these defenses is a key component of antibiotics, and now researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified a structural weakness that seems to be built into a range of bacterial species, potentially paving the way for a new class of widely-effective antibacterial drugs. read more

Antibiotics Cause Obesity

I don’t know if I buy this but it’s an interesting tidbit to consider. I personally, am more concerned with the overuse of antibiotics leading the way to anitbiotic resistant super-bugs.

Antibiotics Can Make Kids Fat

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Researchers are exploring a new culprit in the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic: rampant use of antibiotic drugs to treat minor childhood illness.

For decades, farmers have been doping commercial livestock with antibiotics because the drugs increase, by about 15 percent, the weight of cattle, pigs and chickens.

A new study from the International Journal of Obesity suggests that treating infants with antibiotics during the first several months of their lives could have the same fattening effects. Babies that were given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight as toddlers than those not exposed to the drugs. The study couldn’t prove beyond the shadow of doubt, however, that antibiotics were the only cause of weight gain.

A similar study examined the medical records of children born in the U.K. in the early 1990s and also found that infants given antibiotics within the first six months of life were more likely to be overweight or obese as toddlers when compared to babies not exposed to the drugs.

Other studies on the effects of antibiotics on the gut microbes of lab mice might explain the reason behind the weight gain. Researchers found that in the mice, antibiotics changed the makeup of gut bacteria that are instrumental in helping the body break down food and store proper amounts of fat.