20 Aug A cure for childhood ear infections
A recent article from the website “Machines like us” talks about a “cure for childhood ear infections“.
Here’s an excerpt:
The sleepless nights families face when painful ear infections strike kids may be over if a researcher associated with The University of Western Australia has her way.
Dr Ruth Thornton of UWA’s School of Paediatrics and Child Health is part of a team whose findings could reduce the need for antibiotics and surgery, and help tackle hearing loss in Indigenous communities. She is one of 12 national finalists—and the only one from WA—in the annual Australia-wide Fresh Science competition. Nearly 60 early-career scientists entered the first round of the competition at State level.
Dr Thornton and her team discovered that sticky nets of DNA hide the bacteria in the ears of kids with recurrent middle-ear infections, and evade antibiotic treatment by creating impenetrable slimy biofilms.
The researchers are targeting these nets with a drug that has already proven its ability to help kids with cystic fibrosis by breaking up thick secretions in their lungs. A study on the DNA net discovery was published in the online science journal Plos One in February and clinical drug trials are now underway.