Sponge’s secret weapon restores antibiotics’ power | Science News

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Sponge’s secret weapon restores antibiotics’ power

Bacteria treated with compound lose their resistance

By
1:22am, February 14, 2009

CHICAGO — A chemical from an ocean-dwelling sponge can reprogram antibiotic resistant bacteria to make them vulnerable to medicines again, new evidence suggests.

Ineffective antibiotics become lethal once again for bacteria treated with the sponge compound, chemist Peter Moeller reported February 13 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

“The potential is outstanding. This could revolutionize our approach to thinking about how infections are treated,” comments Carolyn Sotka of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Oceans and Human Health Initiative in Charleston, S.C.

Everything living in the ocean survives in a microbial soup, under constant bombardment from bacterial assaults. Researchers led by Moeller, of Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, found a sponge thriving in the midst of dead organisms. This anomalous life amidst death raised an obvious question, says Moeller: &ldqu

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