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Superbugs may meet their match in these nanoparticles

‘Quantum dots’ mess with bacteria’s defenses, allowing antibiotics to work

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7:00am, October 9, 2017

ARMED AND DANGEROUS  By producing a chemical that makes bacteria more vulnerable to antibiotic attack, quantum dots could help reboot medications that have lost their edge against hard-to-kill microbes.

Antibiotics may have a new teammate in the fight against drug-resistant infections.

Researchers have engineered nanoparticles to produce chemicals that render bacteria more vulnerable to antibiotics. These quantum dots, described online October 4 in Science Advances, could help combat pathogens that have developed resistance to antibiotics (SN: 10/15/16, p. 11).

“Various superbugs are evolving too rapidly to be counteracted by traditional drugs,” says Zhengtao Deng, a chemist at Nanjing University in China not involved in the research. “Drug-resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide by 2050 unless action is taken.”

In the study, antibiotics spiked

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