Well, press releases can drive me crazy. And this one is one of the worst I have seen in a while: IBM News room – 2013-01-24 IBM and The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Develop New Antimicrobial Hydrogel to Fight Superbugs and Drug-Resistant Biofilms – United States
This new fangled gel they have made they are very proud of. That is good. Pride in ones work is a good thing. But getting the science wrong and making misleading statements is not. Some statements I have issues with include
- Able to colonize on almost any tissue or surface, microbial biofilms – which are adhesive groupings of diseased cells present in 80% of all infections – persist at various sites in the human body, especially in association with medical equipment and devices.
- Huh? Diseased cells? What does this even mean?
- When applied to contaminated surfaces, the hydrogel’s positive charge attracts all negatively charged microbial membranes, like powerful gravitation into a blackhole.
- Again – huh? How is this like gravitation in a black hole?
- However, unlike most antibiotics and hydrogels, which target the internal machinery of bacteria to prevent replication, this hydrogel kills bacteria by membrane disruption, precluding the emergence of any resistance.
- This is the killer statement. They have apparently invented a treatment that no organism can resist. It is therefore perfect. Sort of like, well, penicillin? Oh no, wait. Sort of like chloroquine. Oh no, wait. I mean, sort of like streptomycin right? Sorry – I meant tetracycline. No no – I meant …. aaaaaaaaaaarrg.