A fungal compound has been identified by a team of Chinese researchers as a promising antibiotic candidate, as they presented an approach that can efficiently obtain it the lab, said a study recently published in the journal Nature Communication.
Health organisations across the world are trying to reduce the use of antibiotics. Because the overuse of antibiotics in recent years means they’re becoming less effective and has led to the emergence of “superbugs” — strains of bacteria that have developed resistance to many different types of antibiotics, Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile researchers are working hard to find new antibiotics.
A team, led by researchers at China’s Chongqing University, has developed a technique to synthesize albomycins, a group of fungal compounds that have previously shown antimicrobial properties. The authors were able to obtain the substances in large enough amounts to allow them to test their antibiotic activity.
One substance performed well in a test against a variety of bacterial strains. Notably, it outperformed several established antibiotics.
“The method we use can efficiently and conveniently synthesize albomycins substances, and initial animal lab test has demonstrated that these substances are safe, but we will continue our research on its safety,” said Yun He, Lead Author of the study.
Further tests are needed to see whether the substance is safe and effective to use as a drug against bacterial infections, according to the team. (IANS)
Chinese police have investigated 380 online lenders and frozen $1.5 billion in assets following an avalanche of scandals in the huge but lightly regulated industry, the government announced Monday.
Beijing allowed a private finance industry to flourish in order to supply credit to entrepreneurs and households that aren’t served by the state-run banking system. But that threatens to become a liability for the ruling Communist Party after bankruptcies and fraud cases prompted protests and complaints of official indifference to small investors.
The police ministry said it launched the investigation because person-to-person, or P2P, lending was increasingly risky and rife with complaints about fraud, mismanagement and waste.
The ministry gave no details of arrests but said more than 100 executives were being sought by investigators and some had fled abroad. It said authorities seized or froze 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) but gave no indication how much might be returned to depositors.
Police say some lenders and investment vehicles were brazenly fraudulent, while others collapsed after inexperienced founders failed to manage risk.
Monday’s statement said P2P lenders were investigated for complaints including wasting money, reporting phony investment plans and using illegal tactics to raise money.
Lending through online platforms grew by triple digits annually until 2017 when regulators tightened controls.
Depositors lent 1.9 trillion yuan ($280 billion) last year, but that was down by 50 percent from 2017, according to the Shenzhen Qiancheng Internet Finance Research Institute.
The outstanding loan balance stood at 1.2 trillion yuan ($177 billion) at the end of 2018, down 25 percent from a year earlier, according to Diyi Wangdai, a web site that reports on the industry.
P2P lenders are part of a privately run Chinese finance industry the national bank regulator estimated in 2015 had grown to $1.5 trillion.
The internet has helped financial platforms attract money from financial novices with little knowledge of the risks involved.
Many lend to factories and retailers or invest in restaurants, car washes and other businesses. But inexperience and poor risk control means a downturn in business conditions can bankrupt them.