A global effort is under way to find effective treatments for deadly hospital-acquired infections, with many such dangerous bacteria proving worryingly resistant to antibiotics. Now, help may have been found in the most unlikely of places, with researchers finding positive results when studying an old folk remedy – natural Canadian clay.
A team of researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has worked to develop an efficient technology that uses DNA to detect and treat infectious diseases. Improving upon an existing method, the research makes use of single-stranded DNA molecules called aptamers, and it could be used to treat cancer.
A team of researchers is using a potent machine-learning system to study an infection that's highly resistant to antibiotic therapies. With the work already yielding positive results, it could lead to improved understanding of bacteria, and ultimately the discovery of new treatments.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are an increasingly big problem for global health. They kill in excess of 23,000 people in the US every year, with their ability to rapidly develop an immunity to antibiotic treatments making them extremely difficult to eradicate. Now, new research being conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that tiny light-activated particles known as quantum dots might be useful in tackling the infections.
You might think that with today's composite dental fillings, once you get a tooth filled, it's good for life. According to the University of Oregon's Prof. Jamie Kruzic, however, "almost all fillings will eventually fail" – some within as little as six years. That's why he's part of a team that's looking into a longer-lasting filling material: bioactive glass.
A team of University of Oxford researchers has developed easy-to-use software that's able to quickly predict which antibiotics will work for a patient by analyzing DNA from their infection. The program is currently being trialed in three UK hospitals.
Researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales (UNSW) have come up with a new way of tackling harmful biofilms. The non-toxic method, which combines targeted nanoparticles with heat, could have a wide range of applications.
A team of MIT scientists has created a pair of mechanisms designed to provide a fail-safe for genetically modified bacteria, with the aim of stopping them from escaping and proliferating outside their intended environment. The measure would make the engineered bacteria much safer.
Obesity is on the rise around the world, and if left unchecked this could have serious consequences for our overall health in the decades to come. However, it turns out that the bacteria living in your gut can help control how much food you eat ... which could change the way we all control our appetites in the future.
Inspired by the water boatman bug, a team at the University of Bristol has created the Row-bot, a robot prototype that is designed to punt itself across the top of the water in dirty ponds or lakes, and "eat" the microbes it scoops up. It then breaks these down in its artificial stomach to create energy to power itself. In this way, it generates enough power to continuously impel itself about to seek out more bacteria to feed upon.