Antibiotic-resistant bacteria already killed around 700,000 people each year, and that number could increase dramatically as new superbugs appear. On a medical quest to defeat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a 25 year old female scientist has developed a novel solution: a substance that may treat antibiotic resistant bacterial infection by beating the bacteria to pieces:
Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia, has developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill six different superbug strains without antibiotics, simply by ripping apart their cell walls.
"We've discovered that [the polymers] actually target the bacteria and kill it in multiple ways," Lam told Nicola Smith from The Telegraph. "One method is by physically disrupting or breaking apart the cell wall of the bacteria. This creates a lot of stress on the bacteria and causes it to start killing itself."
Lam’s approach has been tested only on mice (in the lab), but it is a potential solution to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sometimes physical action is the solution, huh?
image credit: Shu Lam via Science Alert