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Scientists Are Using The Blood Of Komodo Dragons To Create Modern Antibiotics

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Chances are, if you’ve had strep throat, an ear infection, or bronchitis in your life, a doctor has prescribed you an antibiotic. These common drugs, like penicillin and cephalosporin, work to eliminate the infection in your body.

While these medicines are tried and true staples of the medical industry, over time, people have built up a tolerance to their benefits. When a medicine stops working, researchers have to do everything they can to create a new one that’s effective, which can mean utilizing unconventional ingredients.

Recent research has shown that antibiotic resistance is on the rise. The common drugs that once helped people battle infections are now becoming less impactful. The new technique that scientists at George Mason University are using to create new medicines is a very abnormal one…

Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common in humans. Common drugs like penicillin and cephalosporin are less effective than they once were — especially against superbugs — and scientists believe it could lead to a post-antibiotic world. This could mean that infections like strep throat and bronchitis could have devastating consequences…

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Of course, scientists continue to develop new methods to create drugs that will defeat these infections, though, they’re having to utilize rather unorthodox methods to do so. The research team at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia has posed a strange new way to do just that — by using the blood of dragons.

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No, not fire-breathing dragons, but Komodo dragons. Researchers discovered that these creatures have chemical compounds in their blood that kill bacteria found in people fighting infections.

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These chemical compounds are known as CAMPs — cationic antimicrobial peptides — and, yes, humans do have some of these, though, the Komodo dragon has 47 with antimicrobial powers. After lots of testing, the research team was able to suck them out of the blood by using electrically-charged hydrogels and aerated substances. 

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The research team then tested eight of these compounds against two lab-manufactured superbugs, pseudomona aeruginosa and MRSA. Miraculously, all eight of the compounds killed the pseudomona aeruginosa, while seven killed the MRSA.

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“Komodo dragon serum has been demonstrated to have in vitro antibacterial properties,” the researchers said in an interview. “The role that CAMPs play in the innate immunity of the Komodo dragon is potentially very informative, and the newly identified Komodo dragon CAMPs may lend themselves to the development of new antimicrobial therapeutics.”

I never could’ve imagined developing such an inventive way to make antibiotics. Luckily, scientists are hard at work to keep us healthy!

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