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At first glance, the gleaming white building on a quiet Sarasota side street looks like any doctor’s office. But inside, scientists in a ground-floor laboratory conduct research that could one day transform the human race’s long-running battle against infection — from annoying sinus irritations to deadly flesh-eating bacteria.

Their work may seem straight out of a science-fiction movie: manipulating the human microbiome — the trillions of microbacterial cells on and in the body.

These cells, which can adhere to almost any human surface — mouth to skin to gut — can glom together to form biofilm, a fortress that helps them resist the current antibiotic arsenal.

The Quorum Biofilm Research Laboratory, part of the five-physician Hawthorne Clinic in Sarasota, is challenging the conventional wisdom about antibiotics, in a way not seen since 19th-century physicians began to question the value of draining patients’ blood to rid them of disease.

Read the full article here: Herald Tribune

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