Doctors and scientists are constantly trying to find new methods of treating illnesses. They study factors in places you wouldn’t even imagine to look. That’s what makes their job so necessary and interesting. And now Australian researchers have made a big breakthrough from an unlikely source. Apparently platypus milk could help fight off disease.
Biologists under the employ of Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, have been studying platypus milk. They have isolated the monotreme lactation protein structure for the first time and have determined that it could lead to the creation of a new type of antibiotics.
Janet Newman, a CSIRO scientist who studied the specimen, said, “This special component has antibacterial properties against some of the nastier bugs you find in the environment but not against some bacteria found in the guts of the young.”
It is believed the milk has these antibacterial properties because of the way the platypus has evolved to feed their young. Since they don’t have teats, the mother needs to excrete her milk via her stomach. Scientists hypothesize the antibacterial properties developed to protect the young from the possibility of infection.
Could we be looking at an unlikely savior for medicine? It would certainly be interesting to find out that the platypus is the link that leads to the eradication of certain diseases.