Tag Archives: Vincent A. Fischetti

Scientists use Nature against Nature to develop an antibiotic with reduced resistance

Scientists at Rockefeller University and Astex Pharmaceuticals have discovered a new broad range antibiotic that kills a wide range of bacteria, including drug-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) bacteria that do not respond to traditional drugs, in mice. The antibiotic, Epimerox, targets weaknesses in bacteria that have long been exploited by viruses that attack them, known as phage.

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Newly engineered enzyme is a powerful staph antibiotic

In the past decade, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has ushered in a new era in the fight between man and bug. By harnessing the power of nature’s own antibiotics, scientists have engineered an enzyme known as a lysin that not only kills MRSA in mice but also works synergistically with antibiotics that were once powerless against the formidable organism. More »

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Bacteria-killing enzyme cures mice with fatal pneumonia

Before the advent of antibiotics, pneumonia claimed so many lives — and was so feared — that it was called the “captain of the ship of death.” Now, at a time when new antibiotics have proved futile, researchers are using a different tactic to keep this ship at bay: an enzyme so effective at killing Streptococcus pneumoniae that it has been put on the front lines in the battle against infectious disease. More »

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Rockefeller microbiologist tests safety of spiked eggnog

An experiment designed to test the safety of consuming eggnog made from raw eggs suggests that, in general, few bacteria survive in a mixture containing 20 percent rum and bourbon. More »

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Scientists drill holes through deadly bacteria’s Kevlar-like hide

At a time when bacteria continue to acquire “superbug” powers, researchers at Rockefeller University are devising ways to strip them of their infectious properties. Now they’ve figured out how to drill holes through the tough hide of gram-positive bacteria without obliterating them, and in so doing, have made it possible to study, from the inside out, most of the known bacteria on the planet. More »

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Newly identified enzyme treats deadly bacterial infection in mice

Four years after drug companies began mass-producing penicillin, bacteria showed they could fight back, developing machinery that could resist antibiotics and even destroy them. Now, Rockefeller University researchers have recruited an unexpected ally that could disarm bacteria of this most ingenious weapon and put these “superbugs” on the losing side of a war they have dictated and dominated for decades. More »

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New method better identifies functionally related genes on the bacterial chromosome

A new technique developed at Rockefeller University takes advantage of information already stored within the structure of bacterial chromosomes to group genes in biologically meaningful ways. More »

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Viral protein is an effective preventative against infection

For parents, eight million cases of acute middle-ear infections every year add up to a lot of sleepless nights and trips to the pediatrician. But new research suggests that a lysin – a protein derived from viruses that infect bacteria – may prevent children from developing secondary ear infections. More »

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Single gene may defend bacteria from antibiotics and infection

Bacteria have two major enemies: antibiotic drugs and bacteriophage viruses, which infect and kill them. The two disparate threats may have something in common. New research from Rockefeller University has found that certain bacteria have gained a gene that protects them from both toxic drugs and infectious viruses at the same time. More »

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Newly discovered protein kills Anthrax bacteria by exploding their cell walls

A newly discovered protein called PlyPH specifically targets one of our most feared bioterror threats, the anthrax bacterium, by punching holes in its cell wall and exploding it. Scientists at Rockefeller say the protein has several advantages over antibiotic drugs — and a solution based on it could clean areas that have been contaminated with anthrax spores. More »

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‘Geneless’ enzyme is key to how bacteria intack

To infect, bacteria must first stick. New research from Rockefeller’s Fischetti Lab has identified an enzyme essential to how proteins on the surface of staph and strep bacteria stick to the tissues of their hosts. The scientists say their discovery could lead to drugs that prevent some of our most dangerous bacteria from gaining a foothold. More »

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“Bacteria-eating” viruses may spread some infectious diseases

A strep-infected child in a daycare center plays with a toy, puts it in her mouth and crawls away. Another child plays with the same toy and comes down with strep. More »

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Researchers unearth unusual enzyme lacking genetic code

Since their fiery beginnings on earth over three billion years ago, bacteria have evolved some unusual strategies for dealing with the problems of life, a kind of odd bag of tricks specialized for survival. The most recent idiosyncrasy to surface, which was discovered by Rockefeller researchers, is an essential protein lacking a genetic code. More »

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Novel Method To Fight Drug-resistant Infections Emerges from Lab – and Nature

Scientists have turned to nature once again for help in fighting deadly infections. Reporting in the Dec. 7 issue of Science, Rockefeller University researchers show that a natural enzyme derived from tiny viruses that live inside bacteria can successfully target and kill disease bacteria, including those that are resistant to drugs. More »

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Researchers Find Novel Way to Kill Streptococci Bacteria

Researchers at The Rockefeller University have discovered a powerful new way to destroy on contact the bacteria that cause strep throat, flesh-eating disease and a variety of other infections. The technique, which may not cause the bacteria to evolve resistant strains as antibiotics do, also could have applications for many other bacterial diseases. The findings are reported in the March 20 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition Issue No. 12). More »

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