but won’t bacteria grow resistant to nanoparticles too?
03 December 2011FORGET antibiotics, let’s try nanoparticles. That’s according to DARPA, the US military’s research arm, which says that rather than spend money on new antibiotics, which only work until bacterial strains grow resistant, “readily adaptable nanotherapeutics” can fight infection instead.
The agency has called for proposals to find ways to use small interfering RNA (siRNA) to fight bacteria. These scraps of genetic code seek out their mirror image within cells, such as bacteria, and silence them. This stops protein production and leads to cell death.
DARPA is seeking ideas for adaptable nanoparticles that can be “reprogrammed on the fly” by loading up specific siRNA to deal with outbreaks among troops.
As with GPS systems and the internet, this innovation might benefit the military initially, but eventually become a model for mainstream medication.