A powerful new super antibiotic may be right under our feet

Fortune

A group of scientists and researchers has found a powerful antibiotic in the fields of Maine. It’s called teixobactin, and its implications for the treatment of antibiotic-resistant diseases are huge.

The antibiotic, which was extracted from a dirt sample, is unlike many antibiotics on the market today. It works by attacking the building blocks of a bacteria’s cell wall, making it difficult for the bacteria to evolve resistance.

The process of extracting teixobactin from the ground could open up a range of new treatment compounds that could fight superbugs such as staph, or tuberculosis infections, and even cancer, scientists say.

“Uncultured bacteria make up approximately 99% of all species in external environments, and are an untapped source of new antibiotics,” the researchers wrote in the journal Nature.

Now that scientists have developed a method for isolating and growing that uncultured bacteria, they’ve been able to develop several new ways…

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