High-tech ways to scan nature’s own creations.
Pharmaceutical companies focus on small molecules they’ve devised – and can easily patent. But nature’s already come up with many antibacterial compounds that drug designers could use to make medicines.
A giant ant carries a dead fellow in the name of cleanliness.
Ants produce their own antimicrobial chemicals to fight bacteria.
Some cultures believe drinking alcohol will kill the germs that cause a sore throat or a tummy bug.
Wine has long been known for its disinfecting and cleansing properties. So can it kill flu and other bugs? And what about other types of alcohol?
Bacterial colonies on a petri dish.
This research could provide an answer to some of the problems posed by antibiotic resistance.
According to the World Health Organisation, antimicrobial resistance is now at crisis point.
The US Centers for Disease Control has reported a woman in her 70s has died of overwhelming sepsis caused by a bacterium that was resistant to all available antibiotics.
Any antimicrobial chemicals in there?
Home image via www.shutterstock.com.
Products not under the FDA’s jurisdiction don’t have to list whether they contain any of the antimicrobial chemicals banned in soap by the agency.
It’s bacterial biofilms that give the Grand Prismatic Spring its colorful hues.
The vast majority of the bacteria that surround us are not free-floating but prefer to band together in cooperative communities called biofilms. How do biofilms form and cooperate?
Bloodletting was treatment for infection in the past.
Wellcome Library, London
While some ancient therapies proved effective enough that they are still used in some form today, on the whole they just aren’t as good as modern antimicrobials at treating infections.
A pharmacist dispensing drugs at Nairobi’s Mater Hospital. Resistance to antibiotics is high in Africa.
Antibiotics are used extensively in Africa because of the continent’s high disease burden. This also means that resistance is high. Steps are being taken to raise awareness and encourage prudent use.
The author, collecting dust via vacuum for lab analysis.
Clarisse Betancourt Román
We spend much of our time inside buildings. What chemicals and microbes are in here with us? And how do they affect each other? One scientist collects dust to find out.
Staph aureus bloodstream infection has a 12-month death rate of between 20 and 35%.
Which of the following conditions would you prefer to have during your next stay in hospital? A. Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) bloodstream infection; or B. a heart attack?
Silver can be an effective antibacterial when treated in special ways.
Silver image via www.shutterstock.com.
Joint replacement surgery comes with a big risk of infection. New implant technology that can release silver ions inside the body could help – and without increasing antibiotic resistance.