Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cracking virus code

As we march our way toward the land of diminishing marginal returns in medicine, crop science, etc., not all the news is bad.  The system is dynamic, which is what makes absolute predictions fail so miserably.

Research led by a team at Harvard are starting to crack the code to the resistant bacteria, and find out what exactly it it that is making them so resistant.

Harvard team cracks the code for new drug resistant superbugs
Mary Leach, Massachusetts Eye and Ear via Earthsky, 22 May 2012 (hat tip: NC)

The genome sequence gave us unprecedented insight into what makes these highly resistant bacteria tick. Several things were remarkable,” says Gilmore. “Vancomycin resistance repeatedly went into just one tribe of MRSA, so the question became ‘what makes that group special — why did they start getting vancomycin resistance?”’
“What we found was that this group of MRSA has properties that appear to make it more social, so they can live with other bacteria like Enterococcus. This would allow those MRSA to more easily pick up new resistances,” adds Kos. “The good news is that some of these properties weaken the strain’s ability to colonize, and may be limiting their spread.”

Prof. Mike Gilmore with Dr. Veronica Koh


Anonymous said...

Crack the virus code. Crack the atom.

You can download bomb plans on the internet. Pretty hard to round up some 235, though.

Might be easier to round up a virus or two.


David P. King said...

Sounds intense! Best of luck with all that cracking. :)

russell1200 said...

GK: this is not the team that published the plans to the bird flue genome. They were Danish.

DPK: We want to know our apocalyptic specifics! Wouldn't want to write a sci-fi horror novel and get our causal agents wrong.

Anonymous said...

But the knowledge will still get out. Genie will not go back into the bottle.

Been reading about the Japanese Nuc plant. I'm starting to think that the west side of the country might not be a good idea.

GK who's retiring in Elko May 2014.Maybe

russell1200 said...

GK: I assume that radiation is your concern. I would be more for children than people at retirement age.

Elko seems dry, and possibly will get dryer and hotter. Not a ton of people though.