B.U. Students Look to Solve Problem of Deadly Biofilm

Published 08/11 2014 04:30PM

Updated 08/11 2014 05:22PM

A group of students at Binghamton University have been hard at work solving life-threatening problems.

The undergraduates are part of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute program where faculty and students in a variety of majors come together for research.

For instance, students concentrating in life sciences have teamed with engineering majors to try to tackle bio-films, in which harmful bacteria get trapped inside a filmy substance. That causes potentially deadly problems for people, because the bacteria can't be accessed and killed.

B.U. Junior Nicole Radova and her partner are looking to come up with a solution for biofilm. Their research includes concentrating on a molecule that helps to develop them.

"Even in cystic fibrosis patients who typically die of infections, even from pseduomonas aeruginosa, antibiotics do not work, because they are protected by these biofilms and they just keep coming back. Typically, if we can disable a biofilm, maybe it will help people survive," said Radova.

"This is a project they can talk about when they apply to medical school or for jobs various places and they tell people about their research. For example, they get hired by Microsoft, they get hired by Google, and they get hired by other kinds of high-tech companies and they get into medical school and so it has been very advantageous for them," said Nancy Stamp, B.U. professor of biology and HHMI program director.

34 students are taking part in the 12 month program.

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