Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Antibiotic ‘Smart Bomb’ Can Target Specific Strains of Bacteria

Published: Friday, January 31, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Technique offers a potential approach to treat infections by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a de facto antibiotic “smart bomb” that can identify specific strains of bacteria and sever their DNA, eliminating the infection. 

“Conventional antibiotic treatments kill both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria, leading to unintended consequences, such as opportunistic infections,” says Dr. Chase Beisel, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NC State and senior author of a paper describing the work. “What we’ve shown in this new work is that it is possible to selectively remove specific strains of bacteria without affecting populations of good bacteria.”

The new approach works by taking advantage of a part of an immune system present in many bacteria called the CRISPR-Cas system. The CRISPR-Cas system protects bacteria from invaders such as viruses by creating small strands of RNA called CRISPR RNAs, which match DNA sequences specific to a given invader. When those CRISPR RNAs find a match, they unleash Cas proteins that cut the DNA.

The NC State researchers have demonstrated that designing CRISPR RNAs to target DNA sequences in the bacteria themselves causes bacterial suicide, as a bacterium’s CRISPR-Cas system attacks its own DNA.

“In lab testing, we found that this approach removes the targeted bacteria,” Beisel says. “We’re still trying to understand precisely how severing the DNA leads to elimination of the bacteria. However, we’re encouraged by the ease in specifically targeting different bacteria and the potency of elimination.”

The researchers tested the approach in controlled cultures with different combinations of bacteria present, and were able to eliminate only the targeted strain. “For example, we were able to eliminate Salmonella in a culture without affecting good bacteria normally found in the digestive tract,” Beisel says.

The researchers were also able to demonstrate the precision of the technique by eliminating one strain of a species, but not another strain of the same species which shares 99 percent of the same DNA.

Another benefit of the approach, Beisel says, is that “by targeting specific DNA strands through the CRISPR-Cas system, we’re able to bypass the mechanisms underlying the many examples of antibiotic resistance.”

The researchers are currently working to develop effective methods for delivering the CRISPR RNAs in clinical settings.

“This sets the stage for next-generation antibiotics using programmable CRISPR-Cas systems,” says Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou, an associate professor of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences at NC State and co-author of the manuscript.

The paper, “Programmable removal of bacterial strains by use of genome-targeting CRISPR-Cas systems,” is published online in the journal mBio. The paper is open access. Lead author of the paper is Ahmed Abdelshafy Gomaa, a Ph.D. student at NC State. Co-authors include Heidi Klumpe, a former undergraduate at NC State, and Michelle Luo and Kurt Selle, Ph.D. students at NC State.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

A New Way Out for Stem Cells
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that therapeutic stem cells exit the bloodstream in a different manner than was previously thought.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Microneedle Patch Delivers Localized Cancer Immunotherapy
Researchers at NC State and UNC at Chapel Hill have developed a technique that uses a patch embedded with microneedles to deliver cancer immunotherapy treatment to melanoma skin cancer.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Rapid ID of CRISPR-Cas System PAMs
New techniques allow expedited identification of protospacer-adjacent motifs, critical elements for unlocking the power of CRISPR-CAS systems.
Friday, April 01, 2016
Delivering Localized Cancer Therapy
Technique developed that uses a patch embedded with microneedles to deliver cancer immunotherapy treatment directly to the site of melanoma skin cancer.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Liquid Metal ‘Nano-Terminators’ Target Cancer Cells
Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new drug delivery technique that uses a biodegradable liquid metal to target cancer cells.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
How to Control Shape, Structure of DNA and RNA
Researchers have used computational modelling to shed light on precisely how charged gold nanoparticles influence the structure of DNA and RNA.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Researchers Disguise Drugs As Platelets to Target Cancer
Researchers have for the first time developed a technique that coats anticancer drugs in membranes made from a patient’s own platelets.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Ancestral Background Can Be Determined By Fingerprints
A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual’s ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics – a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological research.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Potential Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Isolated
Researchers from North Carolina State University utilized a highly sensitive mass spectrometry analysis to identify and measure difficult-to-detect N-glycan biomarkers associated with ovarian cancers in stages I – IV.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Threading the CRISPR Needle with DNA Nanoclews
Researchers have for the first time created and used a nanoscale vehicle made of DNA to deliver a CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool into cells in both cell culture and an animal model.
Monday, September 07, 2015
How DNA ‘Proofreader’ Proteins Pick and Edit Their Reading Material
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered how two important proofreader proteins know where to look for errors during DNA replication and how they work together to signal the body’s repair mechanism.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Algorithm Interprets Breathing Difficulties to Aid in Medical Care
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an efficient algorithm that can interpret the wheezing of patients with breathing difficulties to give medical providers information about what’s happening in the lungs.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Elastic Patch Releases Drugs in a Stretch
Researchers from have developed a drug delivery technology that consists of an elastic patch that can be applied to the skin and will release drugs whenever the patch is stretched.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Eco-Friendly Nanobullet to Battle Bacteria
Researchers have developed a method to combat bacteria by engineering nanoscale particles that add the antimicrobial potency of silver to a core of lignin, a ubiquitous substance found in all plant cells.
Thursday, July 16, 2015
New Approach May Lead to Inhalable Vaccines
The approach using nanoparticles could lead to development of inhalable vaccines for influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Friday, January 09, 2015
Scientific News
Point of Care Diagnostics - A Cautious Revolution
Advances in molecular biology, coupled with the miniaturization and improved sensitivity of assays and devices in general, have enabled a new wave of point-of-care (POC) or “bedside” diagnostics.
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Researchers Find a Gap in the Brain’s Firewall Against Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers at NIH have found mouse study that identified a key player in the progression of the disorder.
Fat Cells That Amplify Nerve Signals in Response to Cold Also Affect Blood Sugar Metabolism
Researchers at UTSW have found that the protein connexin 43 forms cell-to-cell communication channels on the surface of emerging beige fat cells that amplify the signals from those few nerve fibers.
Drug to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder Shows Promise Among Drinkers With High Stress
The findings suggest that potential future studies with drugs targeting vasopressin blockade should focus on populations of people with AUD who also report high levels of stress.
C Dots Show Powerful Tumor Killing Effect
Nanoparticles known as Cornell dots, or C dots, have shown great promise as a therapeutic tool in the detection and treatment of cancer.
Faecal Bacteria Linked to Body Fat
Researchers at King’s College London have found a new link between the diversity of bacteria in human poo – known as the human faecal microbiome - and levels of abdominal body fat.
How Baby’s Genes Influence Birth Weight And Later Life Disease
The large-scale study could help to target new ways of preventing and treating these diseases.
Genes Underlying Dogs’ Social Ability Revealed
The social ability of dogs is affected by genes that also seem to influence human behaviour, according to a new study from Linköping University in Sweden.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!