Team discovers new MRSA treatment

first_imgA team of researches led by Professor Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang developed an antibiotic to combat Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a strain of a certain species of bacteria that is resistant to a considerable number of conventional modern antibiotics.“MRSA is a multi-drug resistant version of a very common bacterium called staph aureus,” Mobashery said. “Staph aureus grows in our skin, grows in our noses, and has been with humanity for a very long time. However, this version, which is drug resistant, first appeared in 1962 in the U.K. and has become a global problem.”Mobashery said understanding the biochemical properties of MRSA that allow it to resist the effects of conventional antibiotics gave them valuable information and resources to develop an antibiotic to respond to the problem.“How does this organism have these biochemical properties that make it so difficult for treatment? That is a question my lab concerns itself with,” Mobashery said. “We want to understand the basis for the drug resistance this very difficult organism has developed over the many decades after its appearance.“When we understand some of the details of the biochemical event, can we subvert them in a way that leads to the demise of the organism? The answer to that question is yes, and we have come up with strategies that lend themselves to specifically addressing the methods that MRSA has devised for resistance,” he said. “We are actually able to take that and turn [them] around to … kill the organism.”Mobashery said finding and developing the drug to exploit the weaknesses he and his team found in MRSA was a massive computational undertaking, narrowing  over 1.2 million candidates to just 118 compounds.“1.2 compounds were so called ‘docked’ and ‘scored’ and … then, out of a collection of 2,500 compounds that had promise, we did some further analysis on which one of those were worthy of pursuit because not all of them were easy to synthesize. So we wanted to ideally buy some of these compounds,” he said.“We ended up choosing the 118 compounds … because they were commercially available and synthetically accessible.”Mobashery said the compounds were observed to effectively destroy MRSA in mice infected with the bacteria and that he saw a promising future for his work with the organism with the help of the University and collaboration with other researchers,” Mobashery said.“In principle, the University is very much interested in exploring whether companies will step up and move this class of molecules forward into clinical trials. That is something we won’t be able to do ourselves and we need partners and that’s a possibility. But research is ongoing on MRSA because of our broad interest in this organism and I’ve been at it for something like a dozen years and I trust that in a dozen years I’ll still be at it.”Tags: antibiotic, drug-resistant bacteria, Mayland Chang, MRSA, Shariar Mobasherylast_img read more

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McKinsey, Nikken Sekkei, AECOM hired to design Indonesia’s new capital

first_imgThe government has estimated that the new capital would cost Rp 466 trillion (US$34.06 billion) and has declared it would finance one-fifth of that through the state budget.Jokowi said that public money would fully fund the construction of the 5,600-ha downtown area of the new capital, where the new presidential palace and other government buildings would sit.The government previously appointed Blair, Son and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed al Nahyan to the steering committee for the project.It was earlier revealed that the UAE government was prepared to invest $22.8 billion in Indonesia through a sovereign wealth fund, together with SoftBank and the United States International Development Finance Corporation.Topics : The Indonesian government is involving three international consulting firms in developing the masterplan of the country’s new capital city, which is to be located in East Kalimantan.Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Friday that American engineering company AECOM, consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Japanese architectural and engineering firm Nikken Sekkei would design the city, which is to feature the latest technology and be environmentally friendly at the same time.Sepaku Village, Penajam Paser Utara Regency, East Kalimantan, will be the location of the nation’s capital. (JP/Gede Dharma ) McKinsey has been hired to assist the National Development Planning Agency, while Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, which has pledged to invest in the project, will work with Nikken Sekkei.“[The consulting firms] have experience designing large cities,” said Luhut during the sidelines of a meeting on the megaproject that was also attended by former British prime minister Tony Blair and SoftBank founder and chief executive officer Masayoshi Son.Read also: Jokowi’s grand vision for new capitalThe Indonesian government attracted global attention when it announced in August that it would move its capital from the flood-prone and sinking Jakarta on Java Island to a 256,000-hectare forested area straddling the regencies of North Penajam Paser and Kutai Kartanegara in East Kalimantan on Borneo, an island that it shares with Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.last_img read more

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US sees 51,000 new COVID-19 cases, infection rising in 37 states

first_imgThe wave of new cases has several governors halting or back-pedaling on plans to reopen their states after months of strict lockdowns, closing beaches and canceling fireworks displays over the upcoming Independence Day weekend.’Still in the first wave'”We are not out of this crisis. We are still in the first wave of this crisis. It requires some level of personal responsibility,” California Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said at a daily briefing on the pandemic.Earlier on Thursday, Kansas required face coverings after a 46% spike in infections there last week.The sweeping business shut-downs earlier in the pandemic devastated the US economy and threw millions of Americans out of work, leaving governors reluctant to take such draconian steps again, even if the lifting of restrictions likely touched off the new outbreak.A US Labor Department report out Thursday showed the re-openings had a dramatic impact on hiring, with the United States creating jobs at a record pace in June. However, employment remains 14.7 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels.”Today’s announcement proves that our economy is roaring back,” US President Trump told reporters at the White House.But the latest batch of high-frequency data assembled by Federal Reserve officials, economists and private companies suggests economic activity stalled in recent days during new clamp-downs.”More than ever, we’re concerned about the worsening health situation and its impact on the burgeoning recovery. Rebounding mobility and poor use of protective equipment will make for a dangerous summer cocktail,” Oxford Economics analyst Gregory Daco wrote.Joe Biden, Trump’s expected rival for the presidency in November, slammed him on Thursday.”Quit claiming victory with almost 15 million Americans still out of work because of the crisis. Quit ignoring the reality of this pandemic and the horrifying loss of American life,” Biden said in a campaign speech.Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, who attended a Trump rally last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been hospitalized with COVID-19, according to his Twitter account. The statement did not say where he was infected.Eight members of the campaign’s staff who were in Tulsa for the June 20 rally have also tested positive.US Vice President Mike Pence was in Florida on Thursday, where he met with Governor Ron DeSantis and expressed support for the governor’s “prudent steps” to slow the spread of the virus.Earlier, Pence said he and Trump supported decisions to pause re-openings, but added that he saw no need for a national mandate for face coverings.Topics : More than three dozen US states were seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters tally on Thursday and the nation set a new record with more than 51,000 infections in a single day as a fresh wave of the pandemic spread across the nation.A total of nine states posted new record highs on Thursday including Florida, which confirmed more than 10,000 to mark its largest spike so far and more new daily cases than any European country had at the height of their outbreaks.California, another epicenter, saw positive tests climb 37% with hospitalizations up 56% over the past two weeks. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican who has previously resisted calls to make face masks mandatory, on Thursday ordered them to be worn in all counties with over 20 coronavirus cases.”In the past few weeks, there has been a swift and substantial spike in coronavirus cases,” Abbott said in a videotaped message. “We need to refocus on slowing the spread. But this time, we want to do it without closing down Texas again.”Texas reported nearly 8,000 new cases on Thursday.New infections were rising in 37 out of 50 US states in the past 14 days compared with the two weeks prior, according to a Reuters analysis. The United States has now recorded 128,706 deaths, nearly a quarter of the known global total.last_img read more

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