12 January 2007

Weizmann Institute research promises antibiotics revolution

That is rather good news:

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science have developed novel antibiotics that are more effective than conventional drugs in fighting bacteria. The substance they developed melts the germ's cell surface rapidly, preventing it from producing a new generation of bugs that have adapted to the medicine. But it may be a decade before the discovery is put into use.
The world is witnessing a resurgence of diseases that were considered conquered and forgotten some years ago, since the first antibiotics came to rescue. One of the most terrifying - tuberculosis - is back, since the bacilli that cause it became immune to most of the modern antibiotics. The doctors and our ignorance also play a role: unchecked user of antibiotics and wrong us of them made it easy for all kinds of bacteria to develop immunity.
Now Weizmann Institute scientists, headed by Professor Yehiel Shai, have designed a more powerful antibiotic. The system that Shai and Ph.D. students Arik Makovitzky and Dorit Avrahami of the Biological Chemistry Department have developed causes massive destruction of germs and completely melts their cell surface. The germ is destroyed too fast to enable it to study the medicine's characteristics and thus it cannot transfer information to the next generation.
Some experts say that we have already lost the war against the bacteria. Let's hope that this or similar bacteria killer will come just in time.