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Chaos-inducing genetic approach stymies antibiotic-resistant superbugs

September 03, 2018 / University of Colorado at Boulder
SHARESHARESHARE

A genetic disruption strategy developed by University of Colorado Boulder researchers effectively stymies the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as E. coli, giving scientists a crucial leg up in the ongoing battle against deadly superbugs. These multidrug-resistant pathogens—which adapt to current antibiotics faster than new ones can be created—infect nearly 2 million people and cause at least 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. In an effort to develop a sustainable long-term solution, CU Boulder researchers created the Controlled Hindrance of Adaptation of OrganismS (CHAOS) approach, which uses CRISPR DNA editing techniques to modify multiple gene expressions within the bacteria cells, stunting the pathogen's central processes and thwarting its ability to evolve defenses.