Tasmanian Devil Milk Could Be a Magic Bullet Against Superbugs

Researchers from Australia have discovered that chemical compounds found in the milk of Tasmanian devils are capable of killing some of the most deadly bacterial infections—a surprising finding that could introduce a new class of weapons in the war against superbugs.

Marsupials, unlike placental mammals, have to seek shelter in their mother’s pouches soon after birth. This cozy environment offers protection and a steady source of food for the premature joey, but it’s not the cleanest place in the world. What’s more, most marsupials emerge after just few weeks of gestation, so their immune systems are grossly underdeveloped. To protect their offspring from pathogens, and to help them grow, marsupial mothers are capable of producing milk with life-preserving compounds built right in.

 Analysis of the devil’s genome revealed six naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides, which the researchers were able to synthesize in the lab. These peptides were then tested against some of the most harmful bacteria known to humans, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (a.k.a. golden staph) and Enterococci. “We showed that these devil peptides kill multi-drug resistant bacteria,” study co-author Emma Peel told The Sydney Morning Herald, “which is really cool.”

The devil’s milk contains antimicrobial compounds called cathelicidins. Humans have one of these natural antibiotics, but Tasmanian devils have six. Some marsupials have even more, including the wallaby’s eight and the opossum’s twelve. So in addition to searching for antibacterial substances in the soil, the bottom of the ocean, and even in our noses, we’d do well to consider our marsupial cousins as well.

Source: Tasmanian Devil Milk Could Be a Magic Bullet Against Superbugs


About steventorresramos

I have over (24) years of Computer Aided Drafting & Design experience and over (16) years of IT experience. After graduating high school I attended a Technical College and earned an Associate Degree in Drafting & Design. I then enrolled at the University of Puerto Rico where I earned an A.S. in Civil Engineering Technologies. While attending the Univ. of Puerto Rico I worked as a freelance Drafter for a variety of architects and engineers. During my senior year I began to work for the firm Planning Management & Development in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Two years later I was offered the position at Mario Corsino & Associates, which later became InterGroup a medium size Civil Engineering, Architectural and Planning firm in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At InterGroup I became assistant chief drafter where I was responsible for 20+ drafters & civil techs, and this is also where I began my IT training. In 2000 I decided to move to St. Petersburg, FL where I was hired as CAD Manager at Advanced Engineering & Design a small Civil Engineering firm established in 1998. Currently still employed by Advanced Engineering & Design I’m now the CAD/IT Manager. I have also continued to expand my knowledge base in both the IT & CADD fields through continued training, certifications, and attending Autodesk University. I’m currently an Autodesk Certified Professional proficient in AutoCAD, Civil 3D and various other Autodesk products. I have been the President of the Tampa Bay Autodesk Users Group (TBAUG) since late 2007 and a member of Autodesk Users Group International (AUGI) since 1996. I have an A.S. Degree in Computer Networking , a Bachelors of Applied Science in Technology Management and currently finishing work on my Masters in Computer Information Systems. I’m a licensed drafter in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and a Microsoft Certified Professional. I hold certificates as a Microsoft Certified IT Professional: Server Administrator, Cisco Networking Associate Professional and Linux Administrator.
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