Indiana University researchers are advancing knowledge about how bacteria build their cell walls that could contribute to the search for new antibacterial drugs.
Indiana University researchers are advancing knowledge about how bacteria build their cell walls that could contribute to the search for new antibacterial drugs. They have created a new tool to observe living cells in real time under a microscope.
"If you look at the history, no one's really discovered a fundamentally new class of antibiotic for the past 40 to 50 years," said IU chemist Michael VanNieuwenhze, who led the study. "Antibiotic resistance is a significant and urgent public health threat, and we think that new ways to address it -- including this -- have significant value."
The need for new ways to study bacteria is driven in large part by the threat of bacterial resistance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 2 million people in the U.S. get an antibiotic-resistant infection each year, and at least 23,000 people die.
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Image: The cell walls in living bacteria light up green, orange and red with three different types of RfDAA probes. Image courtesy of the VanNieuwenhze Lab, Indiana University