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Sponge’s secret weapon restores antibiotics’ power

Bacteria treated with compound lose their resistance

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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.

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