Scientists at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands have developed a technique that could prove effective in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacterial strains.

The idea: create a smart antibiotic that can respond to both light and heat. It can be turned on and off when needed, both to protect healthy bacteria from unnecessary damage and deactivate residual antibiotics that could encourage resistance.

The antibiotics used by the researchers are called quinolones, and when tagged with light-sensitive molecule azobenzene and blasted with light or heat, they morph and become waste products, no use to bacteria looking to bulk up against antibiotics.

The researchers' next steps will involve coaxing the antibiotics to respond to ultraviolet and infrared light.

Lets hope this tricks bacteria long enough for the antibiotics to kill 'em all! [Nature via PopSci]