Irish teen wins top science prize for blackberry antibiotic that fights resistant bacteria

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This Blackberry Antibiotic Fights a Resistant Bacteria

In nowadays the huge pressure occurs on the scientists around the world to develop new ways to combat bacterial infections, because of the alarmingly widespread nature of antibiotic resistance. The problem was highlighted in many health organizations, including the WHO. According to the reports of those organization, there was a call for a concerted effort to tackle the issue, which has been called a “global health security threat.”

It is well-known that bacterial species within this class cause a variety of infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, meningitis, and wound infections. The specifics of these bacteria is that they possess a unique outer membrane which is particularly difficult for drugs to permeate, which provides inherent resistance to numerous antibiotics.

The BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition started in 1963 at the University College Dublin, Ireland, giving the possibility of students to compete in science and technology. On the 54th Exhibition, first place won 15 years old, of Coláiste Choilm, from Ireland, who discovered that compounds (chemicals) found in blackberries could form antibiotics. Those antibiotics are capable of killing Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) a bacteria, which is well-known for being resistant to antibiotics.


He found the inspiration was his grandfather who worked as a herbalist. He even kept a framed picture next to him while he worked! The name of his project was “Antibacterial effects of both aerial and roof parts of the plant.” This cure can be used for clues or coughs as injections.

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He said, “I feel, without disrespecting the scientific community too much, that there should be some conclusions from this. We are over-thinking science in too many ways.” His statement is supported by many scientists and experts from this area of interest.

According to the professor John O’Halloran, who judged the competition, this project is really exciting and explores the possibility of the blackberry leaf extracts’ ability to control harmful bacteria. He explained that this is a unique approach to killing bacteria using natural plant active ingredients. He found that the efforts made by Simon set his project apart from competitors and made him overall winner of this competition.

Many experts agreed that our bodies and nature have an amazing ability to remain in perfect harmony, but they need a perfect set up for success!



Irish Central, January 15, 2018

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