Science By Mazen Oweimrin / June 1, 2017 Our best weapon against bacterial infections has just been upgraded. Vancomycin, a 50-year-old antibiotic used to target difficult-to-remove bacterial infections has been given new powers by scientists at The Scripps Institute. T he team lead by, Dale Roger, have taken Vancomycin and made it even more potent. As Dr. Roger says, “Doctors could use this modified form of vancomycin without fear of resistance emerging,” whose team announced the finding today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Bacteria, over time, develops a resistance to the drugs we take when we are sick. It has become such a huge problem, that we are in a constant struggle to develop new antibiotics for treatment or modifying old ones. When patients do not take their medicine correctly, or doctors overprescribe, or even if the incorrect medication is given, it gives bacteria ample opportunity to develop abilities to resist the antibiotic given. This has lead us to stop using several different antibiotics because they have become ineffective, as well as allowed disease to emerge that are resistant to almost all our antibiotics. What The Scripps Institute has done is taken Vancomycin, which works by breaking down the walls of a bacterial cell, and have added three (independent of each other) modifications, which allows it to break down these walls even better. “With these modifications, you need less of the drug to have the same effect,” Boger said. So, if a bacteria develops resistance to one modification, the antibiotic has two more ways to destroy the bacteria. Hooray, we are still in the fight against bacteria!