New 'superbug' approach relies on decoy DNA

A team of scientists in the UK have designed a genetic tool that can disable genes equipped with antibiotic resistance, an approach that could scuttle superbugs like MRSA. And the researchers at John Innes Center have created a spinoff company--Procarta Biosystems--to commercialize their discovery. The key to their work involved taking a stretch of DNA from bacterium that disrupts gene activity and adding it to an antibiotic. The U.S. market for combating antibiotic resistance amounts to $5 billion and is growing as lethal superbugs continue to spread.

"The DNA sequence acts as a decoy, disrupting gene expression and blocking resistance," said Michael McArthur, head of the research team. "We are putting genetic information directly into drugs."

- check out the report from the Financial Times

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