Scientists Alter Bacteria To Create Medicine

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif-Stanford University researchers are attempting to alter E. coli<$> bacteria in an effort to create erythromyacin-one of the most powerful antibiotics being used today.

They are altering the bacteria genetically to create the antibiotic because current methods of producing the drug are time-consuming. This specific bacterium was chosen because it grows rapidly. Altering its genetic foundation would give researchers a faster and less expensive method of creating mass amounts of the antibiotic.

By genetically altering the germ, scientists could also stay one step ahead of the ever-evolving world of germs. Each time a germ adapts to work around current antibacterial technology, scientists could in turn alter their mutation to their manufactured antibiotic.

A different ironic twist in the world of genetically altered treatments is developing with tobacco research. A different group of scientists is trying to alter the genetics of the leafy plant to create a new array of medicines to fight everything from cancer to tooth decay.

They estimate this group of drugs will be developed and a dominant aspect of US pharmacology within 10 years.

Information from www.sfgate.com

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