Monday, October 31, 2011

Researcher's compound disables bacteria instead of killing them

A microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has discovered a different approach: Instead of killing the bacteria, why not disarm them, quashing disease without the worry of antibiotic resistance?

Ching-Hong Yang, associate professor of biological sciences, has developed a compound that shuts off the "valve" in a pathogen's DNA that allows it to invade and infect. The research is so promising that two private companies are testing it with an eye toward commercialization.
"Researchers analyzed the genomic defense pathways in plants to identify all the precursors to infection and  used the information to discover a group of novel small molecules that interrupt one channel in the intricate pathway system."..
Yang and collaborator Xin Chen, a professor of chemistry at Changzhou University in China, have tested the compound on two virulent bacteria that affect plants and one that attacks humans. They found it effective against all three and believe the compound can be applied to treatments for plants, animals and people.

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