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Science Forum

  1. 06 Apr '18 17:26 / 3 edits
    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-class-antibiotics-combat-drug-resistance.html

    it works like many modern antibiotics by disrupting bacterial ribosome function but this new class of antibiotics works by binding to a site on the ribosome that isn't targeted by other antibiotics. This causes the ribosomes to make 'mistakes' in the bacterial proteins as they are sythesized synthesized rendering them useless and this results in the death of the bacterium.
  2. Subscriber ogb
    11 Apr '18 13:33
    just what I figured.....
  3. Standard member apathist
    looking for loot
    11 Apr '18 15:58
    Am I wrong for thinking that new antibiotics will produce new resistant bacteria? A sort of arms race.
  4. 11 Apr '18 16:40 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by @apathist
    Am I wrong for thinking that new antibiotics will produce new resistant bacteria?
    Yes, eventually.
    But it will buy us some more precious time to develop alternatives to antibiotics before too many dangerous bacteria develop resistance to all of the antibiotics.
    These alternatives include better vaccines and also phage therapy, which for reasons not clear to me (although the link below explains some of them under 'Obstacles' ), is currently massively underexploited and insufficiently researched despite the evidence for its massive potential.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_therapy
    "Bacteriophages are much more specific than antibiotics. They are typically harmless not only to the host organism, but also to other beneficial bacteria, such as the gut flora, reducing the chances of opportunistic infections.[... phage therapy would be expected to give rise to few side effects.
    ...
    ...
    Bacteriophage treatment offers a possible alternative to conventional antibiotic treatments for bacterial infection.[30] It is conceivable that, although bacteria can develop resistance to phage, the resistance might be easier to overcome than resistance to antibiotics. Just as bacteria can evolve resistance, viruses can evolve to overcome resistance"
  5. 13 Apr '18 14:19
    Originally posted by @humy
    https://phys.org/news/2018-04-class-antibiotics-combat-drug-resistance.html

    it works like many modern antibiotics by disrupting bacterial ribosome function but this new class of antibiotics works by binding to a site on the ribosome that isn't targeted by other antibiotics. This causes the ribosomes to make 'mistakes' in the bacterial proteins as they are sythesized synthesized rendering them useless and this results in the death of the bacterium.
    But, what if one of those "mistakes" in a mutated protein becomes harmful?
  6. 14 Apr '18 21:21 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by @wolfe63
    But, what if one of those "mistakes" in a mutated protein becomes harmful?
    do you mean harmful to the patient? The antibiotic doesn't mutate genes but rather makes edit mistakes in individually protein molecules.
    Each protein molecule would have mistakes individually edited into it randomly by this antibiotic thus few if any of these protein molecules will be edited with exactly the same set of mistakes. And a single molecule so modified to be harmful to the patient would not do much damage because it is just one molecule.
    Also, many bacterial proteins in their normal form are harmful to the patient (being evolved to be toxic) but would be rendered harmless by mistakes individually edited into them that would interfere with their normal (harmful) function they evolved to have.
  7. 14 Apr '18 23:34
    Originally posted by @humy
    do you mean harmful to the patient? The antibiotic doesn't mutate genes but rather makes edit mistakes in individually protein molecules.
    Each protein molecule would have mistakes individually edited into it randomly by this antibiotic thus few if any of these protein molecules will be edited with exactly the same set of mistakes. And a single molecule so mod ...[text shortened]... edited into them that would interfere with their normal (harmful) function they evolved to have.
    Yes, you addressed my concern precisely. Thank you.

    I misunderstood. I'd feared that a "mistaken" molecule might cause the gene to be expressed into a harmful variant.
  8. 14 Apr '18 23:40
    This approach sounds very promising. As you know, it's an arms race...and the bacteria have been building new defenses faster than we can learn how to breach them.
  9. Subscriber sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    16 Apr '18 19:13 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @wolfe63
    This approach sounds very promising. As you know, it's an arms race...and the bacteria have been building new defenses faster than we can learn how to breach them.
    But with AI and programs like Alpha Go, those bugs won't stand a chance. It will take time of course, even if they find a magic bullet that cures cancer, the common cold and poverty all in one go, it will take ten years to get the stuff on market.

    I think intelligence, whether human or robot, will trump a mere 3 billion years of evolution

    Sorry for using the word trump.....