Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rice Uses Buckyballs To Reinvent 'Antibiotic Of Last Resort'; New Drug Could Become First Targeted Antibiotic, New Defense Against Bioterrorism

Date:
April 18, 2003
Source:
Rice University
Summary:
Rice University chemists hope a new variant of vancomycin that contains buckyballs -- tiny cage-shaped molecules of pure carbon -- could become the world's first targeted antibiotic, creating a new line of defense against bioweapons like anthrax.

HOUSTON, April 17, 2003 -- Rice University chemists hope a new variant of vancomycin that contains buckyballs -- tiny cage-shaped molecules of pure carbon -- could become the world's first targeted antibiotic, creating a new line of defense against bioweapons like anthrax.

Related Articles


Vancomycin, which entered clinical service 40 years ago, is the antibiotic of last resort, given only when all others fail. Unfortunately, vancomycin-resistant strains of bacteria have appeared in recent years.

In an effort to reinvigorate vancomycin, researchers have created vancomycin conjugates -- pairs of vancomycin molecules joined by an intermediate molecule that acts as a bridge -- some of which have proven more effective at killing resistant bacteria.

Rice Chemistry Professor Lon Wilson decided to create a buckyball-vancomycin conjugate following years of work developing biochemical targeting mechanisms for buckyballs, spherical cages containing 60 carbon molecules. By linking antibodies to a buckyball with anticancer drugs attached to it, Wilson and two of his graduate students, Tatiana Zakharian and Jared Ashcroft, are creating targeted compounds that will bind only with certain cells, like those found in melanoma tumors, for example.

"Having the ability to target antibiotics to attack specific bacterial antigens opens the door for treatments that simply aren't available today," said Wilson. "For example, we believe it's feasible to create a C60-vancomycin conjugate that attaches to anthrax while it is still in the spore form."

Weaponized anthrax is delivered in spores, a dormant form in which the disease is encased in a rugged shell. Once the spore finds its way into a living host, it germinates and becomes active.

Wilson said vancomycin can attack anthrax only after it germinates. However, having the ability to affix the antibiotic to a spore could enable the drug to knock the disease out when it tries to emerge from hibernation, before it has a chance to spread throughout the body and release its toxins.

A postdoctoral fellow in Wilson's lab, Dr. Andrey Mirakyan, recently presented preliminary results of the work at this spring's American Chemical Society annual meeting and they expect to publish research findings soon.

This research was sponsored by the Welch Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rice University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rice University. "Rice Uses Buckyballs To Reinvent 'Antibiotic Of Last Resort'; New Drug Could Become First Targeted Antibiotic, New Defense Against Bioterrorism." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030418081522.htm>.
Rice University. (2003, April 18). Rice Uses Buckyballs To Reinvent 'Antibiotic Of Last Resort'; New Drug Could Become First Targeted Antibiotic, New Defense Against Bioterrorism. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030418081522.htm
Rice University. "Rice Uses Buckyballs To Reinvent 'Antibiotic Of Last Resort'; New Drug Could Become First Targeted Antibiotic, New Defense Against Bioterrorism." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030418081522.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Lowe's Testing Robot Sales Assistants in California Store

Buzz60 (Oct. 29, 2014) Lowe’s is testing out what it’s describing as a robotic shopping assistant in one of its Orchard Supply Hardware Stores in California. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins