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Surprising Science

Nailing the Staph Bug

Staphylococcus aureus is a hard bug to kill, but now researchers think they may have found a way to conquer it by blocking its ability to perform a critical task: recycling.

Staphylococcus aureus is a hard bug to kill. The bacterium is responsible for more U.S. deaths each year than HIV/AIDS, in part because it quickly develops resistance to antibiotics. Scientists have had a hard time figuring out how it ticks, but now researchers think they may have found a way to conquer S. aureus by blocking its ability to perform a critical task: recycling. Recycling is so important that even bacteria do it. They chop up the RNA blueprints needed to design proteins and reassemble them into new instructions.


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