A 25 year old Malaysian has recently discovered a way to fight superbugs that can potential kill nearly 10 million people in the near future.
Lam Shu Jie and her team have developed a chain of star shaped polymer molecules than can destroy bacteria resistants to antibiotics known as ”superbugs” without hurting good cells.
What is Superbugs?
A superbug is a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs.
Lam Shu Jie is a PhD candidate at Melbourne University who played a significant role and is now being called as a ”scientific breakthrough” in her thesis research.
“I’ve spent the past three and a half years researching polymers and looking at how they can be used to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” she told This Week in Asia.
She also would stay up and conduct her research in the laboratory by 4am to ensure that her work produces the most accurate results.
“As I was dealing with living organisms, I had to follow ‘their’ timing instead of mine and that meant going to the lab at 4am.”
“During peak period I worked seven days straight but it was usually from about 8am to maybe 6pm or 7pm,” she said
Although she dreamt of being a doctor growing up, Shu Jie had developed a strong passion for chemistry while studying in SMK (P) Temenggong Ibrahim.
“My main preference would be to continue to stay in research, but I am also looking at career fields outside of polymer research,” she was quoted as saying.
How worrying are Superbugs?
Researchers said that bacteria are increasingly resistant to antibiotic and evolving them into ”superbugs” which can potentially kill 10 million lives globally by 2050.
Currently about 700,000 people have died due to the resistant infections every year.