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Posted Thu Jan 8 2015: from BBC:
Antibiotics: US discovery labelled 'game-changer' for medicine
The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but nothing found since 1987 has made it into doctor's hands. Since then microbes have become incredibly resistant. Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis ignores nearly everything medicine can throw at it. Back to soil: The researchers, at the Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, turned to the source of nearly all antibiotics - soil. This is teeming with microbes, but only 1 percent can be grown in the laboratory. The team created a "subterranean hotel" for bacteria. One bacterium was placed in each "room" and the whole device was buried in soil. It allowed the unique chemistry of soil to permeate the room, but kept the bacteria in place for study.... The lead scientist, Prof Kim Lewis, said: "So far 25 new antibiotics have been discovered using this method and teixobactin is the latest and most promising one.... Tests on teixobactin showed it was toxic to bacteria, but not mammalian tissues, and could clear a deadly dose of MRSA in tests on mice.
[Read more stories about: holyshit, antibiotic resistance, technical cleverness, soil issues]

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'Doc Michael says:
This would be so exciting if Big Ag wasn't trying to wipe out all soil bacteria everywhere, as a precondition for using the dead top-substrate as a medium to grow corn and soybeans. So much fewer weeds, right?

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