A new antibiotic ‘smart bomb’ has been developed that can target specific strains of bacteria
A new wave of antibiotics has been developed which are able to target, and destroy specific strains of bacteria, leaving other strains in peace.
The team at North Carolina state university have exploited the bacterial immune system known as CRISPR-Cas system which is present in many bacteria. This system protects the bacterium from invading plasmids and DNA from viruses by creating complimentary of sRNA referred to as CRISPR RNA. When they match, Cas proteins are able to degrade these fragments and prevent infection.
The team created CRISPR RNAs to target bacterial DNA itself, causing the CRISPR-Cas system to attack the cell’s own DNA causing bacterial suicide. In the lab, this has removed the target bacteria from other species, but at this stage the mechanism is so far unclear.
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