Wallaby milk beats penicillin on bacteria
SCIENTISTS have found a chemical in wallaby milk which is 100 times more effective against bacteria, such as E coli, than the strongest forms of penicillin.
Researchers in Australia have discovered an anti- microbial in the milk that could be used in hospitals to fight bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
Born with a heart but no lungs, baby tammar wallabies crawl into their mother's pouch, where they latch on to milk-bearing teats.
A newborn wallaby lacks a developed immune system and relies on compounds in its mother's milk to protect it against diseases.
Ben Cocks, of the Victoria Department of Primary Industries, in Melbourne, said: "A huge amount of development happens in the pouch, and during that time they just rely on milk." The molecule, called AGG01, also kills other types of bacteria and fungus.
The discovery, says New Scientist magazine, was presented to the US Biotechnology organisation in Chicago.
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