By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I have talked about bacterial resistance many times before. This is a problem we face in medicine where the bacteria we are trying to kill learn to fight back against the antibiotics because they have mutated or changed and learned how to fight them.

Now, according to a report from Taiwan, some scientists are working on ways to make new antibiotics that are close cousins to many of the antibiotics we have now that no longer work like they used to. Many small molecules naturally produced by bacteria can serve as potential medications to kill bacteria. The scientists are looking for naturally produced enzymes that make these compounds and reproducing them in the lab to make it much easier to make large quantities of the compounds which, in turn, can lead to medications to kill the bacteria.

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Basically we are causing mutations that outguess the bacterial mutations.

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Of course, the problem is that the bacteria may be “smarter” than we are. Only time will tell-my money is on the bacteria but if we can stay ahead we should be alright.

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Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor