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  7:30 pm, Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College

Fighting hospital superbugs with physics

Gabe Aeppli

London Centre for Nanotechnology

The alarming growth of the antibiotic-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the most urgent health problems of our time, requiring a fresh look at antibiotics and their modes of action. I give an introduction to antibiotics and superbugs, and explain how they can be thought of as physics problems, understandable in simple terms. A key to the fight against superbugs is the investigation of bacterial walls. After a quick tour of cell walls, I will show some silicon cantilever-based studies of self-assembled monolayers, which model drug-sensitive and drug-resistant bacterial walls. Studies like these will help in the design of biosensors for diagnostics and drug discovery, and in our understanding of superbug evolution and drug action on bacteria themselves.

To learn more please visit his webpage.

Additional resources for this talk: video.