Panda Blood Contains Antibiotic That Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria & Fungi
By Maria Vultaggio | January 3, 2013 11:39 AM EST
Saving the endangered panda from extinction has become even more urgent now that the bear's blood could be used to create new drugs.
Scientists have discovered that pandas produce a powerful antibiotic in their blood stream that kills bacteria and fungi, the Telegraph writes.
The substance would help create new types of treatment for drug-resistant "superbugs" and other infections, researchers believe.
It’s thought the bear releases the antibiotic into its immune system to protect itself from infections in the wild, the news site said.
After analyzing the panda’s DNA, researchers discovered the compound, which they call cathelicidin-AM.
Luckily, scientists don’t need to use actual panda blood, so they need not rely on the bear's notoriously unreliable breeding in order to obtain the new antibiotic. Instead, it will be synthesized in the lab.
Dr Xiuwen Yan, who was in charge of the research at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, said about the cathelicidin-AM in panda blood:
“It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains.
“Under the pressure of increasing microorganisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of antimicrobial agents. Gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides play an important role in innate immunity against noxious microorganisms. They cause much less drug resistance of microbes than conventional antibiotics.”
Panda numbers have dwindled down to nearly 1,600, according to the Telegraph, since a majority of their bamboo forests in China and Southeast Asia have been destroyed.
Since it’s been discovered that the beautiful black and white bears produce a powerful substance that can help create new drugs, there is hope that the case to conserve the endangered creatures will be strengthened.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- HIV Cure: First Effective Cure to Have Long-Term Remission; 3 Factors to Check on Inactive Virus
- Coming Soon: AntiViral Gel in Condoms to Kill HIV Virus
- Melbourne Man Gives Up Sex For a Year; Donates £50,000 in Charity
- FDA Prioritises Review of ‘Abuse-Deterrent’ Painkiller
- Rapid Rise in Flu; Hospitals in New Zealand Struggle
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales