Scientists at the University of Lincoln, UK, have successfully produced two synthetic derivatives of Teixobactin – the world’s first known antibiotic capable of destroying ‘drug resistant’ bacteria.
Last year, the discovery of the antibiotic Teixobactin by researchers in the USA was hailed as a ‘game-changer’ in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
Teixobactin, which kills a range of pathogens without detectable resistance, was isolated from microorganisms (which do not grow under laboratory conditions) found in soil – the natural source of nearly all antibiotics developed since the 1940s.
However in order for it to be developed as a potential drug treatment, several versions of the antibiotic must be produced via chemical synthesis in order to overcome the hurdles of drug development. Researchers in laboratories around the world have been working towards this objective since last year’s breakthrough.
Now Dr Ishwar Singh from the University of Lincoln and his colleagues have become the first group of scientists to synthetically produce two derivatives of Teixobactin.
The University of Lincoln is a British university in the city of Lincoln, England.
The university has origins tracing back to 1861, and after gaining university status in 1992, was known as the University of Humberside until 1996 and the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside until 2001, when it adopted its present name.
Lincoln is one of two universities in the city, alongside Bishop Grosseteste University. Lincoln’s main campus is adjacent to Brayford Pool, the site of urban regeneration in the city since the 1990s; further campuses are located in Riseholme and Holbeach.
The Independent described the university as “the best thing to happen to Lincoln since the Romans”. Lincoln has rapidly moved up in the university rankings, having risen 60 places in 4 years. The Sundays Times Newspaper, responsible for The Times ‘Good University Guide’, recently described the university’s progression as ‘The most dramatic transformation of a university in recent times’. In 2012, the university ranked in the top 50 of the Guardian University Guide for the first time.
It is the University of Lincoln’s annual tradition for student graduation ceremonies to take place at the medieval Lincoln Cathedral.
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Shorter take-offs and landings for aircraft, and better manoeuvreabilty for UAVs are just two of the possible benefits of an EU-supported breakthrough in propulsion technology.
The vector thrust system developed by the ACHEON project is capable of directing the flow and pressure output of an aircraft engine to control its direction using a special nozzle that does not require additional mechanical moving parts, thus overcoming the main limitations of traditional vector thrust technologies, which are both complex and costly.
The project involved six universities and two research organisations from across the EU, including a team at Lincoln University’s school of engineering, which was responsible for evaluating the technology and its potential integration within aircraft. The research was funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission, which supports projects starting from academia that have promising potential industrial applications.
The nozzle’s design is based on two technologies; the HOMER nozzle concept by University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, and PEACE – Plasma Enhanced Actuator for Coanda Effect – that enhances the effects of the nozzle, created by University of Beira Interior, Portugal.
The Lincoln team evaluated the technology for a number of potential applications, including an umanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) military type application and both a large and small passenger transport aircraft.
As well as looking at the aerospace sector, the team is now evaluating how the nozzle technology could be used in other industrial applications, such as in the agricultural sector, where this could help farmers develop closer control of the areas sprayed with weedkiller. It could also be used to develop more accurate printing processes.