Scientists create new antibiotics by editing genes. It will save millions of lives

Researchers at the University of Manchester discover a new way to manipulate key enzymes

bacteria that will pave the way for a new generation of antibiotics. New research published in Nature Communications, describes how the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technique can be used to create novel non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) enzymes that deliver clinically important antibiotics.

Microorganisms in our environment suchas soil bacteria, have developed NRPS, which assemble building blocks (amino acids) into peptide products. They often have strong antibiotic activity. Many of the therapeutically important antibiotics used in the clinic today are derived from these NRPS enzymes - for example, penicillin, vancomycin, and daptomycin.

The problem is that nonribosomal peptideantibiotics are very complex structures. It is expensive and difficult to produce them by conventional chemical methods. To address this problem, a team at the University of Manchester is using gene editing to create NRPS enzymes by swapping domains that recognize the various building blocks of amino acids. This leads to the emergence of special "assembly lines" that can deliver new peptide products.

Antimicrobial resistant infectionsThe drugs are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year worldwide. This number is projected to rise to 10 million by 2050, costing the global economy $ 100 trillion.

Read more

See what Saturn looks like from the Moon. Photo taken by NASA orbiter

Hubble completes a journey through the outer solar system: what he saw there

The fusion reactor KSTAR sets a record: it holds the plasma longer than ever