The culprit looks like two innocuous transparent hotdogs in images from an optical microscope. But these suckers, stained red to become more visible, are potentially deadly bacteria.
Those hotdogs won't be long for this world. Here come the fluorescent green-tagged polymers. These tiny star-shaped structures go to work, ripping up bacteria cell walls, report Inhabitat.
We might finally have an effective weapon against terrifying mutated bacteria resistant to drugs, also known as superbugs. A team from the University of Melbourne led by PhD candidate Shu Lam constructed the pointy molecules from peptide polymers. The team calls them "structurally nano-engineered antimicrobial peptide polymers" or SNAPPs for short.
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SNAPPs target bacteria in multiple ways, one of them being attacking the cell walls. This causes so much stress that the bacteria start to kill themselves, Lam explained to the Telegraph. "We found the polymers to be really good at wiping out bacterial infections," she said.
The results of their experiments, including successfully using SNAPPs to treat mice infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, were published recently in the journal Nature Microbiology (abstract).
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