Scientists Turn to Human Ancestors’ DNA in Search for New Antibiotics

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"To find a way to fight modern-day pathogens, some scientists are looking to our distant ancestors.

In a new paper published late last month in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers say they’ve re-created molecules from Neanderthals and Denisovans that don’t exist in living organisms—a process they’re calling “molecular de-extinction.” These molecules had been identified by A.I. as potential candidates for medical use as antimicrobial treatments.

“This is completely new. We came up with the term ‘molecular de-extinction’ and this is the first peer-reviewed paper that describes it,” César de la Fuente, a co-author of the study and a bioengineer at the University of Pennsylvania, tells Vox’s Sigal Samuel. “So, it’s quite exciting for us.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...-dna-in-search-for-new-antibiotics-180982662/
 

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