Researchers found that platypus milk has unusual antibacterial properties which could help scientists come up with stronger antibiotics that can solve antibiotic resistance for good.
Platypuses are very strange mammals, and so is their biochemistry, as a group of researchers has recently found out. They have known for years that platypus milk is incredibly potent. A protein seems to be at fault, and the same protein could hold key to curing antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance occurs when all common antibiotics fail to kill bacteria causing a disease. The issue is a major concern as bugs are growing antibiotic resistance at lightning speed worldwide. India is one of the countries where the issue is out of control.
Antibiotic-resistant germs can pass their resistance to the next generations, which prompts scientists to race against time in finding a solution. If no solution is found, common infections like tuberculosis or pneumonia could start killing people once more.
Also, even though many countries have banned OTC antibiotics, the problem has become more pressing. There are more and more drugs that prove to be worthless in fighting off bacterial infections.
Platypus Milk Has Strong Antibiotic Properties
Fortunately, platypus milk contains a unique protein that seems to easily kill off most bacteria. Scientists from the Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization took a closer look at the protein.
Their findings were reported this week in the Structural Biology Communications.
Study authors were able to replicate the wonder protein in laboratory conditions. Dr. Julie Sharp and her team examined the structure of the protein to understand what made the protein so effective in the antimicrobial fight.
The study revealed that the protein’s antibacterial properties have something to do with its unsual 3-D folding. It is the first time such a formation was observed in protein. But the strange biochemistry should not be a surprise since platypuses are unusual animals, too.
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