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Penicillin (sometimes abbreviated PCN or pen) is a group of antibiotics derived from ''Penicillium'' fungi. Penicillin antibiotics are historically significant because they are the first drugs that were effective against many previously serious diseases such as syphilis and Staphylococcus infections.
Scientists report new approach to restore penicillin's combat effectiveness against bacterial infections

Scientists report new approach to restore penicillin's combat effectiveness against bacterial infections

Penicillin, one of the scientific marvels of the 20th century, is currently losing a lot of battles it once won against bacterial infections. But scientists at the University of South Carolina have just reported a new approach to restoring its combat effectiveness, even against so-called "superbugs." [More]
Scientists discover promising agents to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Scientists discover promising agents to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

In the fight against "superbugs," scientists have discovered a class of agents that can make some of the most notorious strains vulnerable to the same antibiotics that they once handily shrugged off. The report on the promising agents called metallopolymers appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. [More]
Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Research roundup: Mental health parity; nurses' workload; can restaurants reduce portion size?

Historically, health insurance covered mental health care differently than other medical care. Recent laws have begun bringing them into balance. ... Congress passed the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) in 2008. ... the MHPAEA applied to large group health plans, both fully and self-insured, and included a cost exemption. [More]
Researchers identify possible mechanism for re-growing damaged nerve fibres in central nervous system

Researchers identify possible mechanism for re-growing damaged nerve fibres in central nervous system

A new discovery suggests it could one day be possible to chemically reprogram and repair damaged nerves after spinal cord injury or brain trauma. [More]
Emergence of community-acquired infections due to ESBL-producing bacteria on the rise

Emergence of community-acquired infections due to ESBL-producing bacteria on the rise

The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers. The study is published online in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control. [More]
XBP1 gene plays pivotal role in the growth and progression of triple negative breast cancer

XBP1 gene plays pivotal role in the growth and progression of triple negative breast cancer

Scientists from Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist have found that a gene previously unassociated with breast cancer plays a pivotal role in the growth and progression of the triple negative form of the disease, a particularly deadly strain that often has few treatment options. Their research, published in this week's Nature, suggests that targeting the gene may be a new approach to treating the disease. [More]
Climate change could increase death rates in London and southeast England, scientists predict

Climate change could increase death rates in London and southeast England, scientists predict

Warmer summers brought on by climate change will cause more deaths in London and southeast England than the rest of the country, scientists predict. [More]
Trimethoprim is more effective against streptococci than expected, says research

Trimethoprim is more effective against streptococci than expected, says research

The focus of his team was also on samples, in which the bacteria failed to respond to the agent. They discovered two types of resistance. "Spontaneous mutations can occur in the gene for dihydrofolate reductase rendering trimethoprim no longer able to attack the changed enzyme, which means it becomes ineffective," Nitsche-Schmitz explained. [More]

S. pneumoniae thrives in human saliva

Streptococcus pneumoniae is able to survive and thrive in human saliva, Dutch researchers have shown. [More]
New drug is effective against superbug MRSA

New drug is effective against superbug MRSA

"I routinely call hospitals and request their yearly antibiotic susceptibility testing data," said Washington University in St. Louis' Timothy Wencewicz. "The log might say, for example, that they've treated hundreds of patients for Acinetobacter baumanni, a bacterium brought into U.S. hospitals by soldiers wounded in the Iraq war, with 30 different antibiotics. [More]

Chemist receives patent for drug that make multidrug-resistant bacteria responsive to antibiotics

A chemist based at the University of Copenhagen has just taken out a patent for a drug that can make previously multidrug-resistant bacteria once again responsive to antibiotics. [More]

New drug patent may help overcome problems associated with MDR-TB

A chemist based at the University of Copenhagen has just taken out a patent for a drug that can make previously multidrug-resistant bacteria once again responsive to antibiotics. [More]

University of Liège joins IMI programme to develop new antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens

More than 30 European universities and companies, led by GlaxoSmithKline, are joining forces in a six-year programme funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) for the sum of EUR 85 millions with the aim of developing new antibiotics against Gram-negative pathogens. [More]
Drug used for treating breast cancer also kills fungal disease

Drug used for treating breast cancer also kills fungal disease

Tamoxifen, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer, also kills a fungus that causes a deadly brain infection in immunocompromised patients. The findings, which could lead to new treatments for a disease that kills more HIV/AIDS patients than tuberculosis, appear in mBio-, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM.) [More]
Researchers discover unusually large bacteriophage that infects anthrax bacterium

Researchers discover unusually large bacteriophage that infects anthrax bacterium

From a zebra carcass on the plains of Namibia in Southern Africa, an international team of researchers has discovered a new, unusually large virus (or bacteriophage) that infects the bacterium that causes anthrax. [More]
Use of twice-daily pill could turn deadly blood cancer into highly treatable disease

Use of twice-daily pill could turn deadly blood cancer into highly treatable disease

Use of a twice-daily pill could turn a deadly blood cancer into a highly treatable disease, according to scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College who led a multinational research team. [More]
Scientists develop new genetic platform that yields novel antibiotic from ocean bacteria

Scientists develop new genetic platform that yields novel antibiotic from ocean bacteria

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new genetic platform that allows efficient production of naturally occurring molecules, and have used it to produce a novel antibiotic compound. [More]

Scientists show how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics

Scientists have made an important advance in understanding how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics. [More]
Study: Variations in non-coding sections of genome might be main contributors to type 2 diabetes risk

Study: Variations in non-coding sections of genome might be main contributors to type 2 diabetes risk

Variations in non-coding sections of the genome might be important contributors to type 2 diabetes risk, according to a new study. [More]

Weill Cornell Medical College received a $75M grant to expand, enhance cancer research, care programs

Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it has received a $75 million gift from Sandra and Edward Meyer and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Foundation to expand and enhance the medical college's distinguished cancer research and care programs. [More]