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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Home Test Kit Helps You Find Antibiotics In Leaves

•, By Francie Diep
 Penicillin comes from bread mold, and many antibiotics in use today come from soil bacteria species called actinomycetes. You might even have some antibiotic-producing critters in your own back yard. One pair of scientists certainly hopes so. Josiah Zayner and Mark Opal have started a crowdfunding campaign to send out kits to folks at home to test leaves, twigs, insects and fungi as candidate antibiotic sources.

The pair hope to crowdsource the discovery of new antibiotics. They’re taking on a hot topic in medicine right now. This September, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report saying that drug-resistant microbes are a growing threat in the U.S., where 23,000 people die each year with infections that modern drugs can’t cure. These people need new drugs, but, the CDC’s director of antimicrobial resistance told The Washington Post, “We do not have antibiotics in the pipeline that are going to be available soon enough to address those problems.”

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