NPR

Bugs Vs. Superbugs: Insects Offer Promise In Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance

With the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections, scientists are exploring nature to find new disease-fighting compounds. They're finding them in surprising new places: the microbiomes of insects.
Scientists have isolated a molecule with disease-fighting potential in a microbe living on a type of fungus-farming ant (genus Cyphomyrmex). The microbe kills off other hostile microbes attacking the ants' fungus, a food source. Source: Courtesy of Alexander Wild/University of Wisconsin

Nobody likes a cockroach in their house. But before you smash the unwelcome intruder, consider this: that six-legged critter might one day save your life.

That's right. Insects—long known to spread diseases—could potentially help cure them. Or rather, the microbes living inside them could. Scientists have discovered dozens of microorganisms living in or on insects that produce antimicrobial compounds, some of which may hold the key to developing new antibiotic drugs.

They can't come too soon. More infections are becoming resistant to common antibiotics, and the pipeline of new antibiotic drugs has slowed to.

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da NPR

NPR3 min lettiMedical
What Can Wealthy Nations Do To Address Global Vaccine Inequity?
In the U.S., more than 1 out of 5 residents is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But elsewhere in the world, vaccination rates are much lower. Some poor nations have yet to receive a single dose.
NPR4 min lettiAmerican Government
Quiet No More: Sen. Hirono's Immigrant Journey Fuels Her Fire In Congress
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii — one of the most outspoken Democrats in Congress — wasn't always so vociferous. She says her story, detailed in a new memoir, has driven her to "stand up to bullies."
NPR3 min lettiCrime & Violence
Law Professor: Police Hold 'Extraordinary' Power Over Black People In Traffic Stops
Those who don't immediately stop for police are committing "contempt of cop. And bad officers will make you pay for that," law professor Paul Butler argues.