Edible CRISPR Could Replace Antibiotics

Researchers are developing a probiotic to make disease-causing bacteria self-destruct.

 

As resistance to antibiotics grows in the U.S., researchers are looking for new ways to fight germs like Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that can cause fatal infections in hospitals and nursing homes.

One way to do that: a “CRISPR pill” that instructs harmful bacteria to self-destruct.

CRISPR is the powerful gene-editing technology already being explored as a way to precisely edit human genes to cure diseases (see "Can CRISPR Save Ben Dupree?"). But the technology’s versatility is such that it’s being studied for a huge range of other uses. Just last week scientists in Boston showed they could craft CRISPR into cheap, simple diagnostic tests.

Now scientists want to turn it into ultra-precise antimicrobial treatments to “specifically kill your bacteria of choice,” says food scientist Jan-Peter Van Pijkeren of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.technologyreview.com