Molecular machinery that makes potent antibiotic revealed after decades of research

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Discovery by Rutgers and other scientists could lead to new antibiotics and anticancer drugs

The 3D structure of McbBCD, an enzyme (protein) that makes the potent antibiotic microcin B17 from a smaller protein known as a peptide, as revealed by X-ray crystallography. The red spheres show chemical “cycles” formed by the enzyme that are required for antibacterial activity.

Scientists at Rutgers and universities in Russia, Poland and England have solved a nearly 30-year mystery – how the molecular machinery works in an enzyme that makes a potent antibiotic.

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Cockroaches Could Be Used to Develop Treatments Against MRSA and E.coli

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Cockroaches contain powerful antibiotic molecules in their brains.

Cockroaches and locusts contain powerful antibiotic molecules in their brains that could be used to develop new treatments against MRSA and E-coli, scientists have discovered.  Scientists at Nottingham University found that the insects, which are widely reviled for their dirty image, could actually be more of a health benefit than a health risk.

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Nanoscale Imaging

Nanoscale Imaging 

Donut shaped blood cells

By using nanoptical scanning probe microscopes, scientists are able to reveal the going-ons inside humans and animals with stunning clarity. Take the above set of donut-shaped blood cells – which have been treated with an antibiotic called phyllomelittin taken from the skin of a monkey frog – now decidedly more appetizing than when in a normal, bloody-looking state. (I’m sure many of you relaxed back into your seat Homer Simpson-style with an “Mmm… Monkey frog donuts…”)

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