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If a Bear Spits in the Woods Do New Antibiotics Arise?

06:26 EDT 13 Sep 2018 | Genetic Engineering News

Scientists in Russia and the U.S. have combined ultrahigh-throughput (uHT) microfluidic technology with wild Siberian bear saliva to look for potential antibiotics against harmful bacteria. The technology makes it possible to rapidly test individual microbiota species — such as bacteria in bear saliva —a gainst pathogenic bacteria, isolate the beneficial species with antimicrobial properties, and identify the antibiotic that is produced. It is tedious to look for bacteria that produce antibiotics by testing them on Petri dishes and looking at how they inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, says Konstantin Severinov, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. We swiftly determined the spectrum of the antibiotic activity in saliva from a Siberian bear.  Dr. Severinov is co-author of the team’s published paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ( PNAS ), ...

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Microbiology
Microbiology (from Greek μῑκρος, mīkros, "small"; βίος, bios, "life"; and -λογία, -logia) is the study of microscopic organisms, either unicellular (singl...