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Compound From Soil Bacteria May Help Fight Dangerous Germs
National Public Radio

Scientists say they have discovered a natural compound from bacteria that may prove to be a potent new antibiotic. This news comes at a time when many current antibiotics are losing their oomph — germs become resistant to them.

The new compound is especially intriguing because it appears that it might not lose its germ-killing potential, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Curiously, the researchers didn’t set out to find new antibiotics. Kim Lewis and his colleagues at Northeastern University in Boston were actually figuring out how to grow bacteria that had never been grown in the lab before.

“The majority of bacteria on this planet are ‘uncultured,’ meaning they don’t grow on our Petri dishes,” Lewis says. “And when I’m talking about ‘the majority,’ it is 99 percent.”