Beyond antibiotics: star-shaped protein kills feared superbugs

Signal of change / Beyond antibiotics: star-shaped protein kills feared superbugs

By Li Lin Loh / 29 Sep 2016

A post-antibiotic world - PhD student at @unimelb paving the way

It's a promising step into a post-antibiotic world.

A PhD student at Melbourne University has developed a star-shaped protein that can rip apart the walls of resistant superbugs – and kill them.

Shu Lam, 24, has had her research published today in the prestigiousNature Microbiology journal.

Bacteria are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, evolving into feared "superbugs" that threaten to kill millions of people a year.

In the US, the Food Drug Administration is pulling anti-bacterial soaps off the market for fear that they are exacerbating antibiotic resistance in some bacteria.

"Our project is to build better alternatives to antibiotics," Ms Lam told Fairfax Media.

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