Ants may provide better human medicines

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — U.S. molecular biologists have determined proteins found in the intestines of some ants might be used to create new antibiotics for gram-negative bacteria.

Princeton University researcher Natividad Ruiz, lead author of the study, and his colleagues discovered two key proteins guide one of the two groups of pathogenic bacteria that make carpenter ants’ strong outer shells — their defense against the world.

The work, the biologists said, could allow researchers to create antibiotics against gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. Such antibiotics would destroy the bacteria by disabling the mechanism that produces their protective coating.

The study that included Princeton Professor Thomas Silhavy and researchers from Harvard University is to be reported in the April 8 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

source: www.arcamax.com
Copyright 2008 by United Press International

 
 

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