Antibiotics hunted in deep ocean trenches

700_becc1cd41d3f7afc9ef7c18dcac454f3Aberdeen University researchers are hoping to find the next generation of infection-fighting drugs in the depths of the sea.

A team, led by Mercel Jaspars, will sail to a number of deep ocean trenches around the globe and drop sampling equipment to the bottom, dredging it for potential new treatments.

The first target is the Atacama trench in the eastern Pacific, followed by trenches off New Zealand, Antarctica and Norway.

Few samples have ever been collected from these locations, but they hold a lot of potential for finding undiscovered forms of life — each trench is cut off from the rest of the world, and whatever lies inside has evolved independently.

Jaspars warned of the dangers of the overprescription of antibiotics, which has lead to an increase in bacteria that are resistant to conventional forms of treatment.

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