A global team, including scientists from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., Xiamen University in China, Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, and McMaster University in Canada, showed how beta-lactam antibiotics such as penicillin, methicillin, and non-beta-lactam antibiotics such as vancomycin kill MRSA (methicillin resistant S. aureus). The study showed that cell wall-wrecking antibiotics create holes in the cell wall which enlarge as the cell grows, eventually killing the bacteria. The scientists plan to exploit the insights to create new therapeutics for antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Scientists at the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity, at the University of Bremen, in Germany, showed that it is possible to grow Anabaena cyanobacteria using gases available in the Martian atmosphere, at a low total pressure, as their source of carbon and nitrogen. These developments offer key life support systems for manned missions to Mars.