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Scientists at Rockefeller University in New York City recently put out a call to citizen scientists: Send us your dirt — literally.
The researchers wanted samples of dirt from across the country that they could probe for naturally occurring compounds that could be turned into drugs.
Resistance - Scientists - Drugs - Infections - Study
As antibiotic resistance becomes more common, scientists are racing to discover new drugs that can fight these dangerous bacterial infections. (Several of the new study's researchers work for a company called Lodo Therapeutics, whose goal is to discover and develop new drugs.) The antibiotics described in the new study, however, are still years away from being prescribed by doctors — if the medicines even reach that point. Much more research is needed to see if these compounds work in humans.
But how did the researchers sift through nearly 2,000 soil samples to zero in on these microscopic antibiotic-makers?
The scientists knew what they were looking for.
Specifically, the researchers combed through the soil samples for the snippet of genetic code responsible for the "calcium-binding" aspect of the antibiotics —...
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