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We Might Not All Die Horribly March 12, 2014

Posted by stuffilikenet in Applications, Awesome, Geek Stuff, Mutants, Science, Star Trek Technology.
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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a global public-health problem since the 1960s through resistance to antibiotics. In the USA every year, a quarter-million are hospitalized and nearly 20,000 die from it, and there are only three drugs that (sort of) work, and some resistance to these is already evident.

The good news is that Big Data on the chemical level has enabled researchers to find models in software of a class of compounds that can mess with the penicillin-binding protein in MRSA and also the cell wall of the MRSA organism, which is MRSA’s secret for resisting non-penicillin-derived medications.  The class of compounds known as oxadiazoles were found by brute-force computer simulations (“brute force” here equals 1.2 MILLION compounds—outside of the scope of all the labs in the world for about twenty years, I would guess).

Good job, guys.

The guys in question are a team of University of Notre Dame researchers led by Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery (see Homework, below).

 

Homework:

“Discovery of a New Class of Non-β-lactam Inhibitors of Penicillin-Binding Proteins with Gram-Positive Antibacterial Activity.” Peter I. O’Daniel, Zhihong Peng, Hualiang Pi, Sebastian A. Testero, Derong Ding, Edward Spink, Erika Leemans, Marc A. Boudreau, Takao Yamaguchi, Valerie A. Schroeder, William R. Wolter, Leticia I. Llarrull, Wei Song, Elena Lastochkin, Malika Kumarasiri, Nuno T. Antunes, Mana Espahbodi, Katerina Lichtenwalter, Mark A. Suckow, Sergei Vakulenko, Shahriar Mobashery, and Mayland Chang. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014 136 (9), 3664-3672

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