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Scientists Bring Molecules Back from the Dead to Fight Superbugs

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The process.

Out of six promising peptides identified with an algorithm, one from a Neanderthal was the most effective at fighting pathogens in bacteria-infected mice, said César de la Fuente of the University of Pennsylvania.

Credit: University of Pennsylvania/Courtesy Science Direct

A research team led by César de la Fuente at the University of Pennsylvania is using computational methods to mine genetic information from extinct human ancestors and other animals to identify possible candidates for new antibiotics.

The scientists say some of the small protein (peptide) molecules they identified have bacteria-fighting powers that may inspire new drugs to fight infections in humans.

The team found more than 11,000 previously unknown potential antimicrobial peptides unique to extinct organisms and synthesized potential candidates from some of them.

From CNN
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