A 26 Years Old Student Has Intrigued the Science World with Her Answers on the Antibiotic Resistance

A 26 Years Old Student Has Intrigued the Science World with Her Answers on the Antibiotic Resistance

Superbugs’ existence is known amongst the medical experts as ‘slow tsunami’. It comes slowly and makes a vivid catastrophe by killing an estimation of 700.000 people every year, 230.000 of which are infants.

The antimicrobal resistance or AMR usually appears as a result of a wrong usage of antibiotics or overdose. It escalates and becomes the largest threat to global health. The threat is so big that the UN has summoned a meeting in September, 2016.

The predictions say that by 2050, antibiotic resistant superbugs will kill about 10 million people.

Shu Lam is a PhD student, part of the University of Melbourne and is supposed to be the hero amongst all the scientists and the one who is going to fight this frightening human catastrophe. While all the other scientists have been focusing their attention on finding antibiotics that will destroy the superbugs, Lam has discovered a totally different way of approaching this massive problem.

Her way of fighting superbugs is very direct and aggressive and can save many people’s lives.

The key in her discovery is that she hasn’t produced an antibiotic that could kill the superbugs, nor she developed an antibiotic of any kind. Her ‘product’ is a polymer shaped like a star, with an ability to kill even six superbugs. The way this star-shaped polymer kills is by tearing apart the cell walls of the superbugs.

Lam says that her team has found out that the polymers can easily target the bacteria and kill it in various, different ways. The most common way of killing the bacteria is actually by ripping apart the walls of the cells. Having its cell walls torn apart makes the bacteria vulnerable and stressed, so it starts killing itself.

Lam’s research was published in the most famous journal called Nature Microbiology. Lam made a huge step forward and was recognized by many scientists from all over the world. She was praised for her excellent work which could bring a huge change into the modern medicine world.

The structure of the star-shaped molecule looks like little Lego blocks put together. They have 16 to 32 “arms” which are mainly constructed by polymers. The moment of unleashing, allows them to directly attack the superbugs. This is not the same with the antibiotics. They in fact don’t kill the superbugs, instead, they are creating a toxic swamp which is very dangerous for the healthy cells around the superbugs.

Moreover, the “work” of these star-shaped molecules is not observed only once. Lam has studied the process in different ways. She made a test on six strains of bacteria which are resistant to drugs. Then, she made a test on a superbug that lives in mice and has successfully finished the whole experiment.

The best thing about the polymers is that they are not toxic for the healthy cells because of their big proportions.

In 1928 the penicillin was discovered and made the biggest impact by saving g the lives of millions.

The founder of the penicillin, Alexander Fleming had a nice speech back then, when he clearly stated that: When the time comes, when everyone can buy this drug, it can be miss used in many ways; it can be overused and will make the bacteria resistant to the antibiotic.

Source > thepowerofideas.ideapod.com

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