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Hospitals would benefit from a new class of drug-resistant treatments

This is Science Today. Bacterial and fungi infections are becoming more drug-resistant and difficult to treat. So, researchers like Gerry McDermott of the University of California, San Francisco, are looking into a synthetic form of antibiotics called peptoids.

McDermott:   The advantage is that bacteria and fungi have no drug resistance mechanism against peptoids, compared to conventional antibiotics. So, the development of peptoids as antimicrobials and anti-fungal agents overcomes a huge amount of drug resistant-related problems, particularly in hospitals.

Narrator:       Peptoids are a synthetic version of peptides.

McDermott:   All plants, animals produce peptides that have antimicrobial activity and over millennia, microbes haven't developed any kind of resistance mechanism against these peptides, but peptides are not very good drug candidates because they're fairly fragile. Peptoids mimic the action of peptides, but they're much more robust.

Narrator:       For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.