Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats in medicine today. In this segment, Ira and guests talk about new approaches to developing antibiotics that could lead to new methods for treating drug-resistant tuberculosis and other diseases. The work, published this week in the journal Cell, involves blocking the action of RNA polymerase in bacteria. RNA polymerase is needed to transcribe the genetic instructions in DNA into RNA -- with out it, a cell can't manufacture the proteins it needs to function. The researchers are studying how three compounds, myxopyronin, corallopyronin, and ripostatin, block the action of RNA polymerase and achieve antibiotic properties. The concepts could lead to a new class of braod-spectrum antibiotics, they say. We'll find out more.
Produced by Christopher Intagliata, Associate Senior Producer