Tuesday, 22 Nov, 2011 Science

DARPA Proposes Replacement of Antibiotics With Nanoparticles


One of the latest programs initiated by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is to replace antibiotics with nanoparticles that can tackle unfamiliar, evolving and genetically engineered bioweapons.

This step is just one of many launched by DARPA to combat various bacterial infections, viruses and bio-threats.

Specialists from DARPA say that antibiotics become more and more vulnerable to bacterial resistance, which leads to the survival and spreading of nefarious pathogens. This means that even in case researchers come up with improved antibiotics they would ultimately face the same problem.

DARPA considers that tiny, autonomous drug delivery systems would be much more effective, being able to send medicated molecules straight into a targeted cell.

Theoretically speaking, the nanoparticles would include small, interfering RNA, or siRNA, a class of molecules developed to shut down specific genes.

[via Wired]

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