Earth Science News  





. Staph-Killing Properties Of Clay Investigated

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
by Staff Writers
Buffalo NY (SPX) Oct 31, 2007
What makes some clays such powerful antimicrobial agents capable of killing MRSA and other virulent bacteria? It's a question that University at Buffalo researchers have been studying for several years. With funding from the National Institutes of Health-National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the UB geologists are studying the surface characteristics of a broad range of naturally occurring antimicrobial clays, including some clays from France to determine why they are such effective killers of bacteria.

Researchers from Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration, to whom the UB researchers are under subcontract on that grant, have recently shown that these French clays can destroy Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, also called MRSA.

The UB researchers also have modified and patented a type of clay that is highly successful in destroying a range of bacterial agents. It will soon be tested against MRSA.

Some of their results will be presented today at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.

Rossman Giese, Ph.D., professor of geology in UB's College of Arts and Sciences, and Tracy Bank, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology at UB, are using several techniques to study the clays, including atomic force microscopy.

In particular, they study the weak interactions that are responsible for the stickiness of clay particles.

"We look at the attraction or repulsion between natural and modified clays and bacteria," said Giese.

Unlike antibiotics, which are essentially a chemical weapon against bacteria, antimicrobial clays kill through purely physical means, he explained.

"The bacterium has to come into physical contact with the clay in order for something to happen." Giese said.

That contact turns deadly.

"The antimicrobial agents in the clay poke a hole in the cell wall of the bacterium causing the bacterium to leak to death," he explained. "The nice thing about that is that there is no way that the bacterium can evolve to avoid it, so resistance to the antimicrobial clay is unlikely to become a problem."

The clay developed by UB researchers has been very effective in lab testing.

"Our studies show that when we mix a bit of our modified clay at very low levels into sewage sludge that contains all kinds of bacteria, the modified clay kills everything," said Giese. "Nothing will grow in it."

The formulation developed by Giese and colleagues in the department and in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was recently licensed to a Buffalo startup company, called Bioclay, Inc.

The first application for that product is to treat HEPA filters in hospitals with the clay, in order to trap and kill potentially lethal bacteria.

In addition to Bank and Giese, other UB researchers who developed Bioclay are Pat Costanzo, formerly a faculty member in the UB Department of Geology, Paul J. Kostyniak, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the Toxicology Research Center, and Joseph A. Syracuse, research scientist with the same center.

Bank and Giese are also looking at other antimicrobial properties of clays, including a project with researchers at the UB School of Dental Medicine on how decay-causing bacteria may interact with teeth and how the bacteria might be prevented from remaining in contact with teeth.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
University at Buffalo
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
AIDS stunting southern Africa's prospects: Malawi president
Blantyre (AFP) Oct 23, 2007
Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Tuesday told lawmakers from around southern Africa, the epicentre of the AIDS pandemic, that the scourge of HIV was stunting the region's development.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Acoustic Sensor Being Developed In New Anechoic Chamber
  • California fire victims get lush treatment in shelter
  • Rebuilding of Indonesia's Aceh nearly complete: officials
  • Study Shows Housing Development On The Rise Near National Forests

  • Climate controversy heats up Australian election
  • Drought in southeast US fuels battle over water resources
  • White House defends 'health benefits' of climate change
  • Like It Or Not, Uncertainty And Climate Change Go Hand-In-Hand

  • DMCii Satellite Imaging Helps Dramatically Reduce Deforestation Of Amazon Basin
  • NASA Views Southern California Fires And Winds
  • A Roadmap For Calibration And Validation
  • GeoEye Contract With ITT Begins Phased Procurement Of The GeoEye-2 Satellite

  • China launches counter-protest against Japan in island dispute
  • Outside View: Russia-EU energy fight thaws
  • Sustainable development a huge failure in Canada: audit
  • PetroChina's domestic listing breaks record

  • Staph-Killing Properties Of Clay Investigated
  • AIDS stunting southern Africa's prospects: Malawi president
  • After extinction fears, Botswana learns to live with AIDS
  • West Nile Virus Spread Through Nerve Cells Linked To Serious Complication

  • Dead Clams Tell Many Tales
  • Could Hairy Roots Become Biofactories
  • Dinosaur Deaths Outsourced To India
  • Ancient Amphibians Left Full-Body Imprints

  • Birth defects soar in polluted China
  • Time Spent In Car Drives Up Air Pollution Exposure
  • Sakhalin II Operator Vows To Fix Environmental Damage In Year
  • Space Sensors Shed New Light On Air Quality

  • Europeans face mob anger over child 'abductions' in Chad
  • India's toilet champion sees human liberation in loos for all
  • Video Game Shown To Cut Cortisol
  • Researchers Find Earliest Evidence For Modern Human Behavior In South Africa

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement