Phage therapy

Revision as of 21:23, 23 January 2013 by (talk)


This project was established to better understand and characterize bacteriophages from antibiotic-resistant, sexually-transmitted, Neisseria gonorrhoeae with the hope of developing prophylactics and therapies to stop the emergence of non-treatable gonorrhea.
This project is in its early stages. We are working to accomplish the following tasks:
  1. Perform a comprehensive literature review;
  2. Update this wiki with background research so all participating citizen scientists can begin in the laboratory with the same rudimentary knowledge;
  3. Find a space that has the equipment (or acquire/build equipment) we need in which we can conduct our research.
If you would like to help with any of these short term project goals, please contact Craig (moleculararts [at] riseup [dot] net).

What is Phage Therapy

Phage therapy is a biological therapy that uses bacteriophages (bacterial viruses) to infect and lyse bacterial pathogens.[1]

Sexually Transmitted Bacterial Infections

This project will begin by studying Neisseria gonorrhoeae the causative agent of gonorrhea.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a facultative intracellular pathogen that is able to infect the eye, pharynx, anus/rectum, urogenital tract, and may be disseminated throughout the body in more complex cases. The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2011 there were an 321,849 new cases of gonorrhea reported in the U.S.[2] of which about 50% are estimated to be reported ( for a total of 700,000 estimated new cases in 2011). The World Health Organization reports that there are between 65-105 million new cases of gonorrhea nationally each year. Of these, 0.5-3% of cases develop into disseminated, systemic infection where the falcutative intracellular diplococci induce more serious illness such as pelvic inflammatory disease.

Antibiotic Resistance


Questions and Specific Aims


Laboratory Needs

Social Project Goals and Community Agreements

Throughout the course of this project, participants will co-create and foster an open access citizen science project that accomplishes specific scientific goals while educating and nurturing community and scientific creativity.
Those participating in this project adhere to the following statements:

We are Non-hierarchical:

We recognize the outcomes of hierarchy. Hierarchy represses creative thought in science, denies access to science, and holds back global scientific development. As a collective of citizen scientists working toward a more complete understanding of molecular medicine, we commit ourselves to nurturing creative, positive voices within our community. We commit ourselves to hearing everyone and refuse to acknowledge hierarchy based on: sex and gender, race, age, accreditation, education, class, or access to resources. We stand in solidarity against oppression and hierarchy.

We believe in open access and transparency:

Everyone is invited to participate in and learn from this project. We will always make time for conversation and teaching opportunities. Online meetings, communications regarding this project, and all findings will be publicized on this fully-editable wiki with the stipulation that those participating adhere to a value system of mutual respect, compassion and safety; while accepting that these values will be enforced via community-based decision making.

We believe in full Consensus:

We believe scientists should be open to discussion around research experiments, data interpretation, and project directions. To foster a spirit of openness and understanding, no decision will be made without 100% consensus.

We believe in asking (and answering) questions:

Science is a question. Our social quest is the pursuit of knowledge. We are not approaching this project with the hope of making money. We want to collectively answer questions and serve our communities. We will stand in solidarity against anyone who chooses to co-opt or privatize any portion of this project. All knowledge must be free and accessible!



Here are some videos to review

Meeting Announcements and Contact Information

Next Call: 1/27/13 8:00pm PST/10:00pm CST

if you'd like to attend the conference call, please contact: Craig (moleculararts [at] riseup [dot] net)


  1. [1] Phage Treatment of Human Infections. Abedon, et al. 2011.
  2. [2] Detailed STD Facts