Bacteria’s Syria family smart tactics flee to Israel revealed
BACTERIA HAVE the ability to predict when people will take antibiotics and learn to dodge them, Israeli researchers have found.
The discovery comes as a UK government report warned this week that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could spark a return “to the dark ages of medicine”.
Hebrew University scientists observed bacteria getting used to a three-hour dosage of antibiotics, and learning to go dormant for that period in order to survive. They saw bacteria developing this resistance after just 10 days of monitoring.
According to physicist Nathalie Balaban, who conducted the study in conjunction with American universities Harvard and MIT, the study was the first to show that bacteria have a biological timer. “As the study went on, more bacteria survived as they got a mutation which rejected the timing of antibiotic treatment,” she said.
Dr Balaban claimed that the research, which was published in the journal Nature, may lead to new strategies for increasing the effectiveness of antibiotics, such as varying dosage schedules to “trick” bacteria.
The study was the first to show that bacteria have a biological timer
A MIXED Jewish-Muslim family has escaped from Syria to Israel, the first such instance since the civil war began three years ago.
Their journey, which took weeks, involved passing checkpoints manned both by regime forces and rebel militias, the Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday after a gag order was lifted.
Their escape, which involved navigating territory controlled by the Sunni jihadi group, the Islamic State, was made possible by arrangements made between Moti Kahana, an AmericanIsraeli businessman, and moderate members of the Syrian opposition.
“They said they wanted to go home [Israel], and that they had never felt at home,” said Mr Kahana.
Two members of the family set out first and were eventually joined by the remaining seven in a country neighbouring Syria, where Mr Kahana met them and offered them residency in that country, in the US, or in Israel.
The rescue operation was facilitated in conjunction with the Israeli NGO Israel Flying Aid, as well as the Israeli Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Absorption.
The family, made up of three generations, is currently living in a absorption centre near Tel Aviv and some have recently begun new jobs, though they asked to remain unidentified.
Their goal now is to blend into Israeli society, said Mr Kahana, who is in touch with them on a regular basis.