Bacteria are rapidly evolving ways to resist antibiotics, causing minor infections to become life-threatening events. Compounding the problem, new antibiotics have been incredibly challenging to develop and pharma is economically disincentivized to invest in finding them. James Martin and his colleagues Joseph Sheehan and Benjamin Bratton took on this challenge, developing an extremely potent antibiotic that targets multiple different classes of bacteria. James tells the story of identifying this antibiotic, understanding its potential, and pinpointing how its structure begets its function. Describing the state-of-the art CRISPR screens, proteomics, and machine learning methods they used, James calls for a new era of antibiotic discovery to meet the impending wave of superbugs.
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