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20.10.08, 22:26
Kolejna proba poprawienia dzialania antybiotykow, tym razem przy pomocy fagow.
Fagi beda niszczyly biofilm w ktorym ukrywaja sie bakterie. Oczywicie na razie
to jeszcze bardzo wstepny etap i nie wiadomo na ile oczekiwania sie
zrealizuja, ale zawsze cos.

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Bacteria beware: MIT student invents knock-out punch
for antibiotic resistance


Timothy Lu awarded $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student
Prize for inventiveness


http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/lemelson-lu.jpg

MIT graduate student and synthetic biologist Timothy Lu is passionate about
tackling problems that pose threats to human health. His current mission: to
destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Today, the 27-year-old M.D. candidate and Ph.D. in the Harvard-MIT Division of
Health Sciences and Technology received the prestigious $30,000 Lemelson-MIT
Student Prize for inventing processes that promise to combat bacterial
infections by enhancing the effectiveness of antibiotics at killing bacteria
and helping to eradicate biofilm - bacterial layers that resist antimicrobial
treatment and breed on surfaces, such as those of medical, industrial and food
processing equipment.

Bacterial infections can lead to severe health issues. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention estimates that the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA,
or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, causes approximately 94,000
infections and contributes to 19,000 deaths annually in the United States,
through contact that can occur in a variety of locations, including schools,
hospitals and homes. Bacteria can also infect food, including spinach and
beef, and damage industrial equipment.
Lu explained that fewer pharmaceutical companies are inventing new antibiotics
due to long development times, high failure rates and large costs. According
to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the cost to develop a
new drug is $930 million (based on the value of the dollar in 2006). These
factors, coupled with a decline in the number of prescriptions authorized for
antibiotics, constrain profits. "Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are also
becoming more prevalent," Lu noted. "My inventions enable the rapid design and
production of inexpensive antibacterial agents that can break through the
defenses of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and bacterial biofilms."
Delivering a one-two punch
Working with his advisor, J.J. Collins, professor of biomedical engineering at
Boston University, Lu developed two bacteriophage platforms to overcome
antibiotic resistance. Bacteriophage are viruses that only infect bacteria,
not human cells. They have been used since the early 20th century to treat
bacterial infections; however, they fell out of favor in the United States due
to the advent of antibiotics. Lu's work represents an exciting application of
synthetic biology, which is an emerging field focused on the rational
engineering of organisms to achieve novel functions.
Lu has engineered bacteriophage to boost antibiotic effectiveness. The
bacteriophage carries DNA that codes for factors that target bacterial gene
networks, which former treatments failed to reach, and destroys bacterial
antibiotic resistance mechanisms. The weakened bacterial defenses enable
antibiotics to perform better. Administered together, Lu's bacteriophage and
antibiotics have the potential to eliminate nearly 30,000 times more bacteria
than antibiotics alone, including cells that survive antibiotic-only
treatment. This combination treatment also thwarts development of stronger
antibiotic resistance, which can extend the lifetime of existing and future
antibiotic drugs.
"While working at a hospital as part of a graduate course, I saw many patients
who contracted new infections due to already-compromised immune systems or
equipment that is extremely difficult to keep sterile," Lu recalled. "Being
infected by difficult-to-eradicate bacteria is a traumatic experience for
patients and a serious public health issue that needs attention. I thought
that there had to be a solution for these infections."
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    • artur737 cd 20.10.08, 22:27
      Penetrating biofilms
      Lu also applied his work with bacteriophage to create a new technique for
      reducing harmful biofilms, which are slimy layers of bacteria that develop on
      the surfaces of medical, industrial and food processing equipment and are
      difficult to penetrate and remove. Current treatment methods to penetrate
      biofilms can involve peptides or enzymes, which must be administered
      systemically and are costly. Medical devices infected by biofilms, such as
      replacement hip joints or pacemakers, often have to be removed surgically.
      Lu invented enzymatically-active bacteriophage that directly target the
      infection site, where they can simultaneously penetrate the biofilm's protective
      slime layer and kill the bacteria underneath. "Think of it as a Trojan Horse,"
      he explained. "First you sneak into the bacteria and use it to overproduce
      enzymes precisely where they are needed most in order to overwhelm and break up
      the biofilm slime. Once the slime is disrupted, the bacteriophage then move in
      and kill the bacteria."
      "As a physician who has treated patients with resistant bacterial infections, I
      am well aware of the devastating effect they have on morbidity and mortality,"
      added Collin M. Stultz, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the
      Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, and one of Lu's
      recommenders for the award. "Tim has developed a series of methods that can be
      used to treat such problematic infections."
      In tests, Lu's platform proved greater than 99.997 percent effective at
      destroying biofilms - a significant improvement over current treatment options.
      "The ultimate goal is to develop a sustainable source of antibacterial therapies
      that are effective and easy to produce at low cost, and will last us through the
      21st century," said Lu.
      According to Lu, his engineered enzymatically-active bacteriophage could be
      initially applied in food processing settings to kill food-borne bacteria, such
      as Escherichia coli (E. coli) that contaminate spinach and cause severe illness
      when ingested. In line with these hopes, there is evidence that U.S. regulatory
      authorities are warming up to the therapeutic use of bacteriophage. For example,
      in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first U.S. treatment
      for Listeria contamination of processed meats using natural bacteriophage.
      Lu added that enzymatically-active bacteriophage could also benefit industry by
      being used to treat infected pipes and reduce corrosion.
      Inherited inventiveness
      Born in Stanford, California, and raised in Yorktown Heights, New York, and
      Taiwan, Lu credits his inventiveness to his father, Nicky, an engineer and
      entrepreneur who helped develop modern semiconductor memories with IBM and the
      integrated circuits industry in Taiwan. Lu recalls spending time at his father's
      office during his formative years, where he reviewed plans and designs for new
      integrated circuits.
      "I inherited my interest in invention and entrepreneurship from my father," Lu
      said. "It was very inspiring to see the amount of effort my father and his team
      put into their work and their joy and elation when they achieved success."
      "Tim is one of the young stars in the emerging field of synthetic biology" said
      his advisor Collins. "I am confident he will develop into a leading clinical
      investigator and innovator."

      "Tim demonstrates the type of ambitious and inventive thinking the $30,000
      Lemelson-MIT Student Prize was established to recognize," said Josh Schuler,
      executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, which provides the annual award.
      "What is truly impressive about Tim's approaches is the breadth of his
      applications. Not only does his work have potential in healthcare, but also in
      protecting the general public through safer food processing and prevention of
      industrial biofouling. Harmful bacteria everywhere should be afraid."
      Second Year of National Student Prize Expansion
      On February 28, the winners of the second annual $30,000 Lemelson-Illinois
      Student Prize and Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize will be announced at the
      University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
      respectively. Details about each winner will be posted on www.30kprize.uiuc.edu
      and www.rpi.edu/lemelson.
      About the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize
      The $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize is awarded annually to an MIT senior or
      graduate student who has created or improved a product or process, applied a
      technology in a new way, redesigned a system, or demonstrated remarkable
      inventiveness in other ways. A distinguished panel of MIT alumni and associates
      including scientists, technologists, engineers and entrepreneurs chooses the
      winner.
      About the Lemelson-MIT Program
      The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages
      sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young
      people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
      Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history's most prolific inventors, and his wife
      Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of
      Technology in 1994. It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, a philanthropy that
      celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen
      social and economic life in the U.S. and developing countries. More information
      on the Lemelson-MIT Program is online at web.mit.edu/invent.
      • dx771 Re: cd 21.10.08, 19:54
        Swoją drogą ciekawe co wpływa na ten biofilm?
        Czy lepiej jak jest nikie pH komórek czy wysokie, czy lepiej miec mniej jakiegoś składnika czy więcej, czy unikać jakiś substancji odżywczych czy zażywac ich więcej.
        --
        Pozdrawiam.DX

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