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Tue Feb 13, 2018, 12:50 PM

A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt

Source: Portland Press Herald

The modern medical era began when an absent-minded British science named Alexander Fleming returned from vacation to find that one of the petri dishes he forgot to put away was covered in a bacteria-killing mold. He had discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic.

Ninety years later, the world faces an antibiotic crisis. Superbugs have evolved resistance to dozens of drugs in doctors’ arsenals, leading to infections that are increasingly difficult to treat. Global deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections are predicted to hit 10 million a year by 2050. So in labs around the world, scientists are racing against time to cultivate new microbe-destroying molecules – but most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked.

With due respect to Fleming, microbiologist Sean Brady thinks it’s time to shift tactics. Instead of growing antibiotics in a petri dish, he hopes to find them in the ground.

“Every place you step, there’s 10,000 bacteria, most of which we’ve never seen,” said Brady, a professor at Rockefeller University in New York. Many of these bacteria behave in ways that aren’t yet understood and produce molecules that haven’t been seen before.

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Read more: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/02/13/a-potentially-powerful-new-antibiotic-is-discovered-in-dirt/

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply A potentially powerful new antibiotic is discovered in dirt (Original post)
jpak Feb 2018 OP
SWBTATTReg Feb 2018 #1
iluvtennis Feb 2018 #2
JustABozoOnThisBus Feb 2018 #7
sdfernando Feb 2018 #3
Bernardo de La Paz Feb 2018 #9
marybourg Feb 2018 #14
eppur_se_muova Feb 2018 #4
RandomAccess Feb 2018 #5
Chakaconcarne Feb 2018 #6
groundloop Feb 2018 #8
sdfernando Feb 2018 #10
Plucketeer Feb 2018 #11
sdfernando Feb 2018 #12
Plucketeer Feb 2018 #13
sdfernando Feb 2018 #15
IronLionZion Feb 2018 #16

Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:06 PM

1. This is evidence that supports why we need the CDC!

Funding cuts to the Centers for Disease Control should not be tolerated. Bugs and diseases are able to be transferred rapidly across the entire globe within days, should a new strain of a virus or bacteria causing a new illness be discovered.

Since profit seems to be the key motivator in the medical industry, should something happen that requires a rapid response, the CDC wouldn't be able to response as fast and as decisive enough in order to deal with the new contagion because of government funding cuts.

Scary times indeed, and you can thank our wonderful poop of a president, tRUMP for his budget. Hopefully Congress will intercede and correct, but I doubt it, the GOP-controlled Congress refused to listen to thousands of doctors and health care professionals when the repeal of the ACA was being undertaken.

I would think that I would put money in the CDC vs. into a new tank or fighter jet, after all, need healthy, and alive people to operate this equipment.

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:20 PM

2. Exactly

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:47 PM

7. There are alternatives to CDC

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:22 PM

3. I wonder if this is part of the Human Microbiome Project?

Last edited Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:08 PM - Edit history (1)

Scientists are finding links between the human gut bacteria and the immune system....and a good portion of the "good" bacteria in our gut comes from soil...or at least it used to. Food is washed and processed so much that most of the good "dirt" that has the good bacteria is washed away and never gets into our gut. A strong healthy immune system depends on a healthy gut and the good bacteria that populates it. Good bacteria helps with the gut tight junctions (another good thing to read up on).

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:50 PM

9. It's a fact that if you played in dirt as a kid or lived on a farm, you have stronger immune system.

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:19 PM

14. As young suburban Moms in the 60's, we used to reassure one another

that every kid "needs to eat a little dirt", when they came home covered in it. Not an entirely new concept.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:31 PM

4. Well, journos do oversimplify in the lead paras ...

If you read further down, you learn that the thinking here is not that people weren't looking in soil samples (that's largely where antibiotics have been discovered -- and in the sea, sewage, etc.) but that they had been using specific techniques which don't work well for many microbes. Rapid DNA sequencing has made it possible to analyze microbial DNA directly from soil samples and examine those for clues to create new antibiotic screening methods, rather than isolating the organisms that produce the antibiotics by growing them in cultures.

Note that the researchers here were looking for a specific genetic sequence, based on a reasonable assumption -- one which will not be true in all cases, and thus allow some candidates to be missed, as well. The challenge to broadening this approach will be figuring out what sequences to search for -- they are not directly seeking the specific sequences for making the antibiotics, since they don't even know what those would be. So what do they look for ?

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:37 PM

5. We have to end the war against bacteria

 

We literally couldn't exist without them.

Yes, some are problematic, but definitely not all. But our antibiotics kill ALL. Not good to get rid of all the gid ones too, and not good to allow the bad ones to develop immunity and resistance.

Bacteria have been found at the base of volcanic plumes under the ocean!

An article I read some time ago implied that there are skin bacteria that actually HELP against the skin bacteria that cause odors! (In which case bathing "infrequently," as happens in some cultures, wouldn't be such a terrible thing.) They're mostly long gone thanks to all our soaps and esp. antibacterials.

People in the trenches have found that diets that restore gut health (which always includes beneficial bacteria) have much better success with things like ADHD and assorted other problems.

So I hope this effort will begin the process of ending that war on bacteria.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:39 PM

6. With our new technologies there are unlimited benefits to be found

in natural organism that we are unfortunately killing off every year.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 01:50 PM

8. And to think that I got yelled at for eating dirt when I was a kid.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:07 PM

10. I ate dirt as well.

Last edited Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:00 PM - Edit history (1)

Little did you know how good that was for you.

The body knows what it needs.....even if its dirt.

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 02:54 PM

11. I don't think I ever actually ATE dirt

 

But as a young-un, I ran thru farm, field and woods in Michigan. There certainly were times I ingested "stuff" without being at all aware. At that, my gut still reels a bit when I see kids in restaurants - crawling and rolling on the food-enhanced carpets or having a pacifier shoved back into their mouths after having rolled on the floor a time or two!

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:05 PM

12. Well the food enhanced carpet in a restaurant is not the same thing,

so you are right to question that.

I'm talking about soil.

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Response to sdfernando (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:11 PM

13. Yes, but...

 

the food debris and liquids that impregnate the carpeting serve to accumulate dirt (and who knows what else!) from the shoes of customers that tred upon it constantly.

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 03:26 PM

15. yeah, that would happen...but there will also be a lot of

unwanted germs there too...germs that could be really bad like salmonella and E. Coli. Granted soil can also contain those but are much much less likely to.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Tue Feb 13, 2018, 05:58 PM

16. If you've plucked produce straight from a farm or orchard

you've definitely eaten dirt and lived. And you're healthier because of it.

I'm glad these scientists are looking outside the lab. There's all kinds of stuff out there in nature.

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