Researchers Discover Antifungal Agent from Pathogen Box Project

Article:Researchers Discover Antifungal Agent from Pathogen Box Project                

Source: American Society for Microbiology

https://www.asm.org/index.php/mbiosphere/item/6334-scientists-identify-promising-new-compound-for-deadly-fungal-pathogens

Summary:

The pathogen box, which is  an open-source drug discovery project, is seeking to find/create solutions to under-researched/neglected diseases. Researchers can receive this pathogen box, which is composed of 96 well plates with different compounds (thought to be anti-microbial agents, or known to have certain effects on microbes), for free as long as they report any findings within 2 years. In recent tests, a compound targeting cell walls and membranes in fungi (with low toxicity to humans) could potentially be used to treat common fungal infections Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans.

Connections:

In class we have discussed finding different antibiotic targets for fungi, and the difficulty with doing so due to the physiological similarities between  humans and fungi.

Critical Analysis:

I found it interesting that there is an ongoing project like this, with seemingly high potential, that is actually providing a vast amount of knowledge on antibacterial targets. This is actually a really great idea, the fact that the boxes are free to researchers as long as data is shared in order to add to a database is really creative and cool. I feel like techniques like this could really be used to stimulate interest and action in certain subfields and topics. This article was well written, interesting and pertinent to bio students, but simple enough  for non-bio folk to have no problems reading and comprehending.

Question:

I would like to know how popular the pathogen box is (as far as how many people are using it) and what data they have gathered thus far (since its start in 2015).

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