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Wednesday
Apr062011

Researchers Develop Particle to Attack Superbugs

Chad Baker/Photodisc/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- IBM researchers in San Jose are developing a small solution for a big medical problem. They are cooking up a nano particle to attack superbugs like MRSA which are resistant to traditional antibiotics.

MRSA is a growing strain of drug-resistant bacteria which kills an estimated 19,000 Americans every year. The big breakthrough is 50,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair.  This happens to be a new class of antimicrobials that are designed to  fight pathogens and infectious disease. The researchers working with these nano particles jokingly refer to them as ninja particles because their attack is fast, effective and precious. The particles have an electromagnetic quality, searching out the cell walls of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Lab tests indicate the nano particles destroy MRSA without affecting healthy or red blood cells.

IBM has partnered with scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore. The hope is that a name known for computer technology can find it's niche in modern medicine. Researchers say they are now talking with pharmaceutical companies. The next goal is to take their science from the lab to human testing.  

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