Science Ticker

Can Fluoride Help With Antibiotic-Resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to human health, but also a threat to lab work. When scientists are trying to grow a certain type of cell, one method involves introducing antibiotic resistant genes to the desired cell and then using antibiotics to kill the rest of the unwanted cells. If these genetically modified cells escaped the lab, however, they could potentially contaminate the environment and lead to further antibiotic resistant cells in the wild.

Using another simple genetic modification, scientists have proposed a way to make sure that any escaped cells would be killed off quickly: make them vulnerable to fluoride, which is abundant in nature. That way these antibiotic resistant cells could live nowhere except the lab, where scientists use fluoride-free water. Read more at Phys.org.