Self-destruct button

ANTIBIOTICS that self-destruct in sunlight will stop bacteria developing resistance so quickly, say chemists in the US. Antibiotics that survive in the environment help bacteria to evolve resistance, making infections untreatable. In a paper to be published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Shahriar Mobashery and colleagues from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, describe how they modified a b-lactam antibiotic to contain a hydrazine group masked by a nitrobenzyloxycarbonyl goup. Under sunlight, the nitrobenzyloxycarbonyl falls off, exposing the hydrazine, which attacks the antibiotic to stop it working. “It’s the first molecule of its kind,” says Mobasherry,
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