Pinyin/Ants could help in medical battle against superbugs

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Scientists have pinpointed a promising new source of antibiotics: ants. They have found that some species - including leaf-cutter ants from the Amazon - use bacteria to defend their nests against invading fungi and microbes.

Kēxuéjiā yiijing suǒdìng mǎyǐ zuohweir xīn kàngshēngsù d keenerng láiyuán. Mǒuxiē zhoongleih d mǎyǐ — bāokuò Amazon qiè-yè-yǐ — lìyòng xihjun dǐyù rùqīn qí cháoxué d morguleih her weishengwuh.


Chemicals excreted by the bacteria as part of this fight have been shown to have particularly powerful antibiotic effects and researchers are now preparing to test them in animals to determine their potential as medicines for humans.

Cǐ guòchéng nèi, yóu xihjun páichū d huàxué wuhzhih biǎoxiàn qiánglì kàngshēngsù xiàoguǒ, yánjiū rényuán zhehngzaih zhǔnbèi yǐ dòngwù shíyàn cèshì qí zuòwéi rénlèi yàowù d qiarnlih.


Researchers say new antibiotics are urgently needed as superbug resistance to standard antimicrobial agents spreads. More than 700,000 people globally now die of drug-resistant infections each year, it is estimated - and some health officials say this figure could be even higher.

Yánjiū rényuán biǎoshì, yóuyú duì biāozhǔn kàng-weishengwuh zhìjì dài kàngyàoxìng d chāojí xihjun mànyán, jíxū xīn kàngshēngsù. Quánqiú gūjì meeiniarn chaoguoh 70 wàn rén sǐ yú kàng-yào d gǎnrǎn, yǒuxiē gonggohng weihsheng guānyuán biǎoshì zhēnshí shùjù kěnéng gèng gāo.


This was reiterated by Professor Cameron Currie, one of the scientists involved in the ant research. "Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem," he said last week. "However, pinpointing new antibiotics using the standard technique of sampling soil for bacteria is tricky. On average, only one in a million strains proves promising. By contrast, we have uncovered a promising strain of bacteria for every 15 strains we have sampled from an ant’s nest."

"Kàngshēngsù kàngyàoxìng shì'g jiànqū yánzhòng d wèntí", yánjiū mǎyǐ d kēxuéjiā Cameron Currie jiàoshòu chóngshēn, "cóng tǔrǎng cǎiyàng nèi yǐ biāozhǔn jìshù qǔdé xīn kàngshēngsù, zhè hěn nán bàndào. Qǔdé xīn kàngshēngsù, yībān shuōlái, bǎiwàn zhōng zhǐ huì chūxiàn yīzhǒng wùzhǒng. Xiāngfǎn dy, cóng mǎyǐ-wō suǒ cǎiyàng d xihjun, měi 15 zhǒng zhōng biàn yǒu yīzhǒng yǒuwàng qǔdé."