The miss use and overuse of antibiotics, in general, has led to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on a scale so large that it is currently one of the biggest threats to global health. It has even been estimated that by 2050, superbugs that are antibiotic resistant will kill around 10 million people.
Scientists have been looking for new antibiotics as a means of killing off these superbugs but have not had very much success thus far. That being said, one 26-year-old Malaysian Ph.D. student at the University of Melbourne might have found the answer we need. Her name is Shu Lam and she has worked hard to develop a more direct combative approach to getting rid of these superbugs. This is something that could potentially save millions of people across the globe.
She has actually developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill six superbug strains so far. It is able to do this by tearing apart their cell walls. Lam told reporters from the Telegraph that this is something that creates a lot of stress on the bacteria and essentially makes it kill itself. This is a monumental breakthrough. Her research was published in the Nature Microbiology journal just this past year and has been something that put Lam in the spotlight.
Her findings could easily change the face of modern medicine. These star-shaped molecules are made from peptide polymers in a process she says is similar to the way we put together Legos. Lam has been able to test this in the lab on both the bacteria themselves and on superbugs in mice. None of the superbugs so far have survived.
These star-shaped polymers are also completely non-toxic to our healthy cells. For more information on this check out the video below. This is truly mind-blowing!