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Discovery & Development Drug Delivery

Around the World in 80 Microbes

Matt Hutchings (University of East Anglia, UK) – who is studying bacteria found on South American leafcutter ants in the hope of discovering novel antibiotics – has come up with a list of weird and wonderful places where scientists are seeking new microbes and the drugs they produce.

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  1. K Busarakam et al., “Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii sp. nov., the producer of chaxalactins and chaxamycins, forms a distinct branch in Streptomyces gene trees”, Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek, 105, 849-861, (2014).
  2. FO Alyward et al., “Leucoagaricus gongylophorus produces diverse enzymes for the degradation of recalcitrant plant polymers in leaf-cutter ant fungus gardens”, Appl Environ Microbiol, 12, 3770-3778, (2013).
  3. TA Gulder, BS Moore, “Salinosporamide natural products: potent 20S proteasome inhibitors as promising cancer chemotherapeutics”, Angew Chem, 49, 9346-9367, (2010).
  4. LL Ling et al., “A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance”, Nature, 517, 455-459, (2015).
  5. S Õmura, A Crump, “The life and times of ivermectin – a success story”, Nat Rev Microbiol, 2, 984-989, (2004).
  6. University College London, “Send us your swabs – hunt for new antibiotics continues”, (2016). Available at:
About the Author
William Aryitey

My fascination with science, gaming, and writing led to my studying biology at university, while simultaneously working as an online games journalist. After university, I travelled across Europe, working on a novel and developing a game, before finding my way to Texere. As Associate Editor, I’m evolving my loves of science and writing, while continuing to pursue my passion for gaming and creative writing in a personal capacity.

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