RACE RELATIONS BLOG: Crocodile blood may yield new antibiotics

Monday, August 22, 2005

Crocodile blood may yield new antibiotics



Crocodile blood may yield new antibiotics
Scientists in the Northern Territory are collecting blood from crocodiles to help develop new antibodies for humans.
Researchers from Darwin's Crocodylus Park and the US are collecting blood samples from crocodiles to isolate the powerful antibodies that protect the reptiles from serious infection.
They say crocodiles often lose limbs in territorial fighting but rarely succumb to disease.
Professor Mark Merchant, a biochemist from Louisiana, hopes to isolate the antibody chemicals that could be reproduced for human drugs.
"If it went on the market we wouldn't isolate them from crocodile blood, we would synthesise those," he said.
"We determine the structure of that molecule and we can even play games with that molecule, maybe to make it more effective, but the base molecule is in the white blood cells we think, of the saltwater crocodile."
Dr Adam Britton says the antibodies' protein could be used for a new class of antibiotics.

related stories:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200508/s1438287.htm
http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,68553,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4155522.stm
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/australia_crocodile_dc

1 Comments:

Anonymous Funny Fanny said...

antibiotics? really? i am more interested in finding a good pair of croc boots and a handbag.

5:18 PM  

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