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This Malaysian Student May Have Just Found The Solution Against Superbugs

We may be a few steps away from solving the problem of antibiotic resistance.

If we had to use a one-liner to describe the impact of Shu Lam’s research, then Neil Armstrong’s world-famous quote would be a good fit – it is indeed “one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.”

Shu, a PhD student at the University of Melbourne, has just discovered an innovative and groundbreaking new method of addressing superbugs – all without having to use antibiotics.

Superbugs, also known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria, pose a huge public health concern across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, the list of infections which are becoming harder to treat is growing, with diseases ranging from gonorrhea to tuberculosis becoming more unresponsive to standard treatment regimens. Because available antibiotics are less effective against these resistant organisms, scientists all over the world are looking for ways to develop new antibiotics which could kill them.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is one of the most dangerous superbugs.

But Shu, 25, is not one of them. Instead of finding a new antibiotic to treat these superbugs, Shu decided to target the bacteria by using polymers.

According to Shu, the star-shaped polymers she developed effectively killed six strains of superbugs by just ripping its cell walls apart.

These polymers, which Shu’s research team has called SNAPPs (structurally nanoengineered antimicrobial peptide polymers), attacks, penetrates, and destabilizes the cell membrane of bacteria. The good news about this groundbreaking innovation is that it only targets the bacteria and doesn’t affect other healthy cells near it.

The fluorescent-tagged SNAPPs (green) can be seen in this image attacking the bacteria E. coli

The results of their experiments are promising so far, as the polymers were effective against all six strains of drug-resistant bacteria that they tested. This breakthrough is still in its infancy, but it seems we are finally gaining ground in our battle against superbugs.

In short, way to go, science!

If you want to know more about antibiotic resistance, you can check out the WHO website.

Sci/Tech

A Couple of Inventors Are Trying to Make LED Eyelashes Happen

Do you think it’s going to happen?

Tech and fashion/beauty come together in this new invention by Tien Pham and Davey Taylor - F.lashes. The 'fun, interactive LED eyelashes' is not commercially available yet, but a Kickstarter campaign is set to begin around mid-July.

The wearable tech is powered by a watch battery and can last up to four hours. They are put on with regular eyelash glue and are relatively sweat-proof. F.lashes react to movements, so the light patterns/modes will change as you dance, tilt your head, jump, and twist. They also come in different colors: pink, red, blue, light blue, white, yellow, and green.

See the F.lashes at work below.

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Sci/Tech

Meet the Man Responsible for 5 Billion Orgasms

We ran the numbers to see how much bed-rattling and moaning this guy has caused.

On March 27, 1998, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially approved the use of Viagra, an oral medication that treats impotence, invented by British scientist Dr. Nicholas Terrett. Since then, men and women have turned to the drug to keep their sex lives, well, alive.

Viagra, with the chemical name Sildenafil, was originally intended to treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and angina pectoris (a form of cardiovascular disease). But chemists at the Pfizer pharmaceutical company found that the drug can induce penile erections typically within 30 to 60 minutes. Seeing the potential to market the drug as a cure for impotence, Sildenafil was patented in 1996 and was approved by the FDA two years later as treatment for "erectile dysfunction," the then new clinical name for impotence.

Dr. Nicholas Terrett has been regarded as the 'Father of Viagra.'

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Sci/Tech

Canadian Truck Driver Invents New Tires That Will End Your Parallel Parking Woes

These revolutionary tires allow sideways travel at the flip of a switch.

If you’ve always had problems with parallel parking, you’d surely be interested with this revolutionary invention. Apparently, this one could potentially end your woes for good.

William Liddiard, a commercial truck driver from Ontario, Canada, created unique omnidirectional tires that can “glide sideways” and can “roll inward upon themselves,” according to a report by the CNBC.

The tires operate via an external motor powered by the car's battery.

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