In an incredibly ironic turn of events, the creature of everyone's nightmares and a creeping villain of the James Bond Skyfall movie might actually save us.
The blood of Komodo dragons, the world's largest lizards, has an abundance of antimicrobial peptides. It helps them survive in killer conditions, and according to a research paper published this month in the Journal of Proteome Research, it could help us feeble humans in the fight against antibiotic resistance.
Peptides are basically small proteins, and antimicrobial peptides are basically the body's antibiotics. Without them, we'd all—dogs, cats, dragons, humans—die of infection.
"We were focussing on peptides coming from extreme species," Barney Bishop, a professor at Virginia's George Mason University and the lead author of the paper, told me. The idea was to examine how animals living in inhospitable, bacteria-teeming environments could survive and thrive.
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