Some of you will find stuff like this boring, fer sure, but it could have profound implications for our future health and that of our kids... but turn away if you like; science posts ain't for everyone, I know.
Anyway... S. Aureus = Staphylococcus Aureus, which is the SA bit of MRSA - which many of you may have read about or heard of in the media. MRSA is frequently rolled out in Daily Mail type "shock-horror" privatisation-softener stories about "the filthy NHS", "dirty hospital wards" and "slovenly, uncaring nurses", etc, etc. Any new effective bio-weapons against S. Aureus will not only help protect the elderly and the vulnerable, but also potentially lower NHS costs (nurses now spend a sizable chunk of the day cleaning and re-cleaning wards with antiseptics - we're not far off returning to the scrubbing-brush and carbolic type scenario of the Late Victorian Era) and deflect criticism of the NHS from the Right. Big Pharma ain't interested in investing money in new antibiotic R&D as the lead-times are too long and profits ain't as high as for other types of meds. It's all about the money, innit.
(It should also be noted, Daily Mail, that most MRSA is brought into wards by visiting relatives. It does not arise by Divine Intervention or immaculate spontaneous conception on NHS premises.)
Via PLOS ONE (an Open-Source Science publishing platform): "With a diminishing number of effective antibiotics, there has been interest in developing antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as drugs. However, any new drug faces potential bacterial resistance evolution. Here, we experimentally compare resistance evolution in Staphylococcus aureus selected by three AMPs (from mammals, amphibians and insects), a combination of two AMPs, and two antibiotics: the powerful last-resort vancomycin and the classic streptomycin..." Read on...