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Scientists develop new way to fight drug resistant superbugs

Scientists from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University in the UK have new way of removing antibodies from the blood stream.

This method has potential to reduce chronic infections that may help humans in the fight against drug resistant superbugs.

Key Facts
  • Scientists had used a process known as plasmapheresis that is somewhat like kidney dialysis. It involved the removal, treatment, and return of blood plasma from circulation.
  • It was done five times in a week in order to remove antibody from two patients with bronchiectasis who had suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections resistant to many antibiotics.
  • Using this process, scientists replaced antibodies in these patients with those from blood donations. This treatment restored ability for the patients’ blood to kill their infecting Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections.
What is Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) or superbugs?

Antimicrobial resistance happens when microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites change when they are exposed to antimicrobial drugs. These microorganisms are also termed as “superbugs”. As a result, the medicines or drugs become ineffective and infections persist in the body futher increasing the risk of spread to others.

Threats

AMR has become one of the biggest threats to global health and endangers other major priorities, such as human development. All around the world, many common infections have become resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat them which resulted in longer illnesses and more deaths. At the same time, not enough new antimicrobial drugs especially antibiotics are being developed to replace older and increasingly ineffective ones.

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Scientist develop ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot

Scientists have developed a tiny, ingestible 3D-printed snake-like robot called SAW (single actuator wave-like robot), that can navigate through the small intestines.

The snake-like tiny robot was made from a set of interlocking 3D-printed “plastic” pieces that look like vertebrae.

Key Facts
  • The robot moves in a wave-like motion and can travel through the extremely squishy environment of the small intestine.
  • The external shape of the robot is a 2D projection of a rotating helix, that result in a continuously moving wave. Its direction can be reversed simply by reversing the direction of rotation of the motor.
  • In tests, the robot was able to move incredibly fast and cross a wide array of terrains, from water to rough, rocky soil.
  • Potential application: It can be used to visualise the digestive system in real time, especially for colonoscopies.

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