Scientists in San Jose lab make breakthrough discovery that could save lives

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A discovery in a San Jose laboratory is being called a breakthrough by scientists in the medical field. They designed a molecule that can kill deadly bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. (KGO-TV)

A discovery in a San Jose laboratory is being called a breakthrough by scientists in the medical field. They designed a molecule that can kill deadly bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Scientists inside the research lab at IBM in San Jose are making something many in the medical field have been waiting for -- a cure to what is commonly known as a superbug....deadly infections that is resistant to antibiotics.

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"I think we consider this quite a breakthrough," said Jim Hedrick, a lead researcher at IBM in San Jose.

The team at IBM has developed a plastic molecule that can kill the most powerful bacteria.

"We make a synthetic molecule that is specifically designed to attract the bacteria's surface like a magnet, and once it latches on it effectively kills it," said Hedrick.

Doctor Alvin Haynes, the Chief Medical Officer at Regional Medical Center, says superbugs are becoming more common and they can have deadly results because of their resistance to antibiotics.

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"Those create an incredible problem for us as practitioners within the hospital because we run out of treatment options for patients," explained Haynes.

Hearing about this new discovery is giving those in the medical field hope. IBM hopes it will lead to a new drug that will save lives.

"I think that's incredibly exciting obviously hearing the news of that kind of treatment is very exciting for us as physicians and as public health practitioners," said Haynes.

The next phase for IBM is to partner with a pharmaceutical company and do further research and develop a drug. It could be ready in the next 5 to 7 years. IBM is also working on designing a molecule that will do the same to cancer cells.

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