Today’s Spotlight, by Christine Daniloff/MIT, features a scanning electron micrograph of the MRSA bacteria courtesy of Janice Haney Carr/Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In recent years, new strains of bacteria have emerged that resist even the most powerful antibiotics. Each year, these superbugs infect more than 2 million people nationwide, 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.
MIT engineers have now turned a powerful new weapon on these superbugs. Using a gene-editing system that can disable any target gene, they have shown that they can selectively kill bacteria carrying harmful genes that confer antibiotic resistance or cause disease.
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