The Trojan Horse_Edit

The Trojan Horse_Edit - Yanting Wang 10, 2009 Microbiology...

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Yanting Wang Dec. 10, 2009 Microbiology 2900 4- credit option The Trojan Horse: Fighting the War Against Bacteria One of the greatest conquests of human ingenuity has been our progress against infectious bacteria. Today, we have only the mute testimony of millions of gravestones to remind us of the lives tragically fallen at the hands of bacteria ranging from airway infections resulting in cystic fibrosis, chronic wound and sinus infections, endocarditis, and medical device infections. It is hard to believe that one of the most dangerous enemies of humans, a species so advanced and evolved, is the small and less advanced bacterium. The sobering truth is that although we have won many battles with the discoveries of penicillin and its derivatives, the war is still raging. Bacteria are developing new mechanisms to combat antibiotics and evolving better ways to avoid detection. But now, researchers are rearming. After a decade of relative inaction to a seemingly lost battle, pharmaceutical companies and researchers have stepped up their efforts to find new drugs, vaccines, and other treatments to knock back the microbial hordes. It seems that we still have hope. One of the newest and most promising strategies is the old “Trojan Horse” method.
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The ancient Greek poet, Homer, may be surprised at the influence of his story on not only literature but also science. Researchers from the University of Washington, University of Cincinnati, and University of Iowa 1 have collaborated and developed a new and artful approach to fighting bacteria, commonly known as the “Trojan Horse” strategy. The “Trojan Horse”, as it is famously known for in Homer’s Iliad , was used as a decoy to allow the attacking Trojans access to a Greek city, unscathed. Now, researchers are using the same idea with the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a biofilm forming bacteria. For the researchers, the decoy is not a giant wooden horse, but rather a “look-alike” essential bacterial nutrient in the body that the bacteria take up in lieu of the real thing. This “Trojan Horse” is the element Gallium. A key ingredient in the function of the body is iron. Iron is used in the
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2010 for the course BIOMI 2900 at Cornell.

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The Trojan Horse_Edit - Yanting Wang 10, 2009 Microbiology...

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