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antibiotics

Antibiotics: Seven Wonders of the Microbe World
Image: iStockphoto.com/unalozmen

Antibiotics: Seven Wonders of the Microbe World

Antibiotics are natural compounds that organisms develop to combat uninvited microbes. Synthetic antibiotics produce medicines that can kill bacteria, but not viruses, in the human body.

Synthetic antibiotics now face challenges from superbugs, or microbes that have evolved to be resistant to the former “wonder drugs.”

The Open University
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Ninjas vs. Superbugs: Adventures in Nanomedicine

Ninjas vs. Superbugs: Adventures in Nanomedicine

Superbug, meet your Superenemy! Ninja polymers (substances made of multiple similar parts) that are 1,000 smaller than a grain of sand can attach to resistant bacteria and zap them. Watch the video. More...

Video
IBM
Ancient Nubians Drank Antibiotic-Laced Beer

Ancient Nubians Drank Antibiotic-Laced Beer

Evidence suggests the ancient Nubians of the northern Nile were consuming the antibiotic tetracycline in the form of fermented grains. Scientists think they must have realized the beneficial effects, even if they didn't understand them. More...

Article
Discovery
Antibiotics Quiz

Antibiotics Quiz

How much do you know about antibiotics — how they work, when to take them, and how to take them? Challenge yourself with this important quiz. More...

Interactive
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Doctors Ignore Advice on Sore Throats, Bronchitis

Doctors Ignore Advice on Sore Throats, Bronchitis

The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a growing problem. It’s made worse when patients demand — and doctors prescribe — antibiotics for viral infections, such as non-strep sore throats and bronchitis. Find out more. More...

Article
USA Today/Associated Press
Antibiotic Attack! The Pros and Cons of Medicine

Antibiotic Attack! The Pros and Cons of Medicine

You’re a busy doctor, with 7 sick patients waiting for you. They need antibiotics, but you must give them the right ones or they could land in the hospital anyway. Quick — but careful — is the way to master this game. More...

Game
AAAS
Cockroaches Could Be Good Medicine

Cockroaches Could Be Good Medicine

Could ground-up cockroach brains lead to the next breakthrough in antibiotics? Investigate the facts that have scientists excited about the antibacterial properties of roach-brain chemicals. More...

Article
Science News for Students
Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?

Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?

An astonishing 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving, many of which get antibiotics in their feed. Livestock producers often claim it’s for health, not to promote growth. Get the whole story. More...

Article
NPR
Doubts Raised over Antibiotic Use for Acne

Doubts Raised over Antibiotic Use for Acne

Many teens take low-dose antibiotics daily to fight the oil-gland bacteria that cause acne. Researchers found that these teens are likely to get upper respiratory infections. Uncover what might be going on. More...

Article
NPR
Fleming Discovers Penicillin

Fleming Discovers Penicillin

Next time someone hassles you about the state of your bedroom, you can mention that had Alexander Fleming kept a neat lab, he’d never have invented the first antibiotic: penicillin. More...

Article
PBS
How Do Antibiotics Know What to Target?

How Do Antibiotics Know What to Target?

Antibiotics use two basic methods to thwart disease-producing bacteria. Different antibiotics have different strategies to carry out their diabolical plans. How do they do it? More...

Article
Discovery
Painting with Penicillin: Alexander Fleming’s Germ Art

Painting with Penicillin: Alexander Fleming’s Germ Art

It’s alive! You might have heard of Alexander Fleming, the Scottish doctor who discovered penicillin. But you probably didn’t know that he painted with microbes, using the natural colors of different types to create images. More...

Profile
Smithsonian
Penicillin Acting on Bacteria

Penicillin Acting on Bacteria

Pop goes the bacterium! Watch as penicillin introduced to a dish of bacteria inhibits the synthesis of cell walls, causing the pressure inside to pop the bacterium cell. More...

Video
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Penicillin: The First ‘Wonder Drug’

Penicillin: The First ‘Wonder Drug’

In the past, pneumonia and post-operative infections carried frequent death sentences. Penicillin changed that. Track the history of its discovery and other breakthroughs in a historical image gallery of the epic “wonder drug.” More...

Images
BBC
Stick Insect Leads Antibiotic Hunt

Stick Insect Leads Antibiotic Hunt

How is it that the giant lime green stick insect has a resistance to toxins and infections it's never been exposed to? That's what researchers in the U.K. are trying to find out. More...

Article
BBC
The Discovery of Penicillin

The Discovery of Penicillin

In 1928, Scottish physician Alexander Fleming observed mold’s ability to inhibit bacterial growth. In the 1940s, Oxford researchers continued Fleming’s work and manufactured penicillin, a drug that has saved countless lives. More...

Video
Discovery
Will Panda Blood Solve the Antibiotic Crisis? Unlikely.

Will Panda Blood Solve the Antibiotic Crisis? Unlikely.

Many valuable drugs derive from nature, mainly from plants. Scientists also look at animal products — from frog skin to cockroach brains — but still no drug breakthroughs. How about panda blood? More...

Article
National Geographic

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