Current state of antibiotics
Within the human body there are ten times more bacterial cells than human ones. Most of those bacteria help us stay healthy or digest our food, however everyone had already a couple of bacterial infections, usually treated with antibiotics. One of the problems with current antibiotics is "they hit not only the bad bacteria but also the good bacteria," explained Professor Timothy Lu of the Synthetic Biology Center at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the team carrying out the new research. In recent times, scientists and politicians warned more and more often that we face a return to the medical "dark ages" if action is not taken against antibiotic resistance. Each year, these superbugs, including drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and staphylococcus, infect more than 2 million people in the US alone, and kill at least 23,000. Despite the urgent need for new treatments, scientists have discovered very few new classes of antibiotics in the past decade.
How CRISPR is used in this technology
Companies and Links
- Nature Article - Sequence-specific antimicrobials using efficiently delivered RNA-guided nucleases