Agriculture
Protecting Cows—and People—from a Deadly Disease
Fast-flying fungal spores
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Tree Frogs
Newts
Animals
Firefly Delight
Armadillo
Cacophony Acoustics
Behavior
Mosquito duets
Listen and Learn
Wired for Math
Birds
Quails
Pheasants
Turkeys
Chemistry and Materials
Supergoo to the rescue
Screaming for Ice Cream
The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
Computers
Computers with Attitude
The Earth-bound asteroid scientists saw coming
Middle school science adventures
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
Meet the new dinos
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
A Global Warming Flap
Environment
Little Bits of Trouble
To Catch a Dragonfly
A Newspaper's Hidden Cost
Finding the Past
A Plankhouse Past
Unearthing Ancient Astronomy
A Big Discovery about Little People
Fish
Tiger Sharks
Lampreys
Dogfish
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Allergies: From Bee Stings to Peanuts
Making good, brown fat
GSAT English Rules
Problems with Prepositions
Subject and Verb Agreement
Pronouns
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Scholarship
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
Math and our number sense: PassGSAT.com
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
Play for Science
Human Body
A New Touch
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
A Fix for Injured Knees
Invertebrates
Grasshoppers
Squid
Crabs
Mammals
Prairie Dogs
Giraffes
Polar Bear
Parents
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Physics
Electric Backpack
Speedy stars
Einstein's Skateboard
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Fast-flying fungal spores
Reptiles
Snapping Turtles
Copperhead Snakes
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Technology and Engineering
Weaving with Light
A Light Delay
Smart Windows
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Ready, unplug, drive
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Arctic Melt
Warmest Year on Record
Add your Article

Bandages that could bite back

The human body has a natural block to keep out bacteria that would cause infections: skin. But when the skin gets burned, it’s not only painful, it’s bad for the body. Burned skin cannot keep the bacteria out, so infections are common. That’s why doctors who treat burn victims have to look out for the slightest sign of dangerous infection. Doctors often wrap burns in bandages for protection, but a recent study shows that a new kind of bandage can actually fight infection. Better yet, this new bandage can use the harmful bacteria against themselves — in other words, the infection-causing organisms cause their own deaths. Toby Jenkins, a scientist at the University of Bath in England, worked on the study. Jenkins and his colleagues developed a material that contains tiny capsules. But these carefully designed packets aren’t what they seem: To a bacterium, these capsules look like cells just waiting to be invaded. What the little invaders don’t know, however, is that the capsules contain antibiotics, which are chemical compounds that can kill bacteria on contact. The bacteria attack the cells by releasing toxins, or poisons. But when the bacteria attack the capsules, the capsules fight back — by releasing antibiotics that knock out any nearby bacteria. It’s an unusual idea — using bacteria against themselves. Jenkins and the other scientists tested the material on two types of harmful bacteria. One was a type of Staphylococcus bacteria; the other was a type of Pseudomonas bacteria. When researchers placed scraps of the new material in a Petri dish with the bacteria, the bacteria barely grew at all, which is unusual. This observation led the researchers to believe that the bacteria had attacked the fabric, and that the antibiotics had been released — which kept the bacteria from growing. The scientists want the bandages to work specifically against dangerous bacteria, so they also tested the fabric on a harmless type of E. coli bacteria. When the scrap of fabric was placed in a Petri dish with E. coli, the bacteria grew quickly — showing that the trap didn’t fool the harmless bacteria. The harmful bacteria probably released toxins that burst the capsules open, while the harmless E. coli left the capsules alone. This early experiment shows that the material can selectively kill dangerous bacteria, but it’s too early to start using the material in hospitals. “This is a nice approach and they’ve shown in principle that it works,” Christopher Batich, a biomedical engineer at the University of Florida in Gainesville, told Science News. Batich did not work on the study. While he’s excited about the results, he added that the real world is more complicated than this experiment. “You’d have to work with real bacteria and real wounds to see if it makes a difference,” he says. Jenkins and his colleagues are back at work improving the healing fabric. In the not-so-distant future, this kind of antibacterial bandage may move from the laboratory to the hospital bed — and give burn victims a fighting chance against infection.

Bandages that could bite back
Bandages that could bite back








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™