April 6, 2008
Alligator Blood Beats Supergerms!
From EurekAlert, the wire service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (and one of my fave RSS feeds): Alligator blood may put the bite on antibiotic-resistant infections.
Turns out alligators have incredible immune systems:
Previous studies by Merchant showed that alligators have an unusually strong immune system that is very different from that of humans. Unlike people, alligators can fight microorganisms such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria without having prior exposure to them. Scientists believe that this is an evolutionary adaptation to promote quick wound healing, as alligators are often injured during fierce territorial battles.
But the crucial thing is that this is obviously the origin story for The Alligator, who would probably be a Spider-Man villain. Brilliant scientist working on super drug, driven to experiment on himself, etc., etc., but then the alligator DNA takes overrrrrGRAHHH!
Or maybe, uh, it would go more like this:
[D]on’t try to create your own home-remedies using alligator blood, as raw, unprocessed blood could make you sick or even kill you if injected, the researcher cautions.