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What bacteria don't know can hurt them
Date:11/17/2011

n, called radicals. This mechanism jives with new findings showing that antibiotics kill by generating these toxic radicals.

The findings suggest new approaches to improve treatment for a wide range of infections.

"Discovering new antibiotics has been challenging," Nguyen said. "One way to improve infection treatment is to make the drugs we already have work better. Our experiments suggest that antibiotic efficacy could be increased by disrupting key bacterial functions that have no obvious connection to antibiotic activity."

The work also highlights the critical advantage of being able to sense environmental conditions, even for single-celled organisms like bacteria. Cells unaware of their starvation were not protected, even though they ran out of nutrients and stopped growth. This proves again that, even for bacteria, "what you don't know can hurt you."


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Contact: Leila Gray
leilag@u.washington.edu
206-685-0381
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

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