The University of Melbourne solution uses star-shaped peptide polymers, or short protein chains, to directly destroy bacteria through techniques such as 'ripping apart' the cell wall. The approach is not only effective, but safe: in tests involving red blood cells, it would have taken a 100 times larger dose to be toxic.
At UTSW, researchers used PPMO compound molecules (peptide-conjugated phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers) to block a bacterial pump that kicks out antibiotics. They imitate DNA or RNA, binding to a key genetic sequence in the bacteria and preventing it from building proteins. The PPMO approach isn't a solution by itself, but it renders bacteria vulnerable to antibiotics that were previously ineffective -- even for medicine that never worked before.
In both cases, the universities have a lot of refinement to do. They need to both progress toward human trials and see if their approaches work on a wide variety of bacteria, not just those in the early experiments. If these molecules prove to be reliable, though, they could give hospitals a much-needed reprieve when fighting MRSA and other resistant illnesses. Your doctor could either use a one-two combo treatment to defeat bacteria or skip antibiotics entirely.