Giant Panda Blood Contains Antibiotics

Giant Panda Blood Contains Antibiotics

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Chinese biologists have discovered an antibiotic that may have human applications in giant panda blood.

Biologists in China have discovered that the blood of the endangered giant panda includes a compound called Cathelicidin-AM, which acts as a natural antibiotic. The nature of the blood compound makes it an attractive treatment for so-called superbugs, those strains of disease that have become immune or resistant to traditional antibiotics. Xiuwen Yan, of the Life Sciences College at China's Nanjing Agricultural University, said that "[Cathelicidin-AM] showed potential antimicrobial activities against a wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains." The researchers also found that the blood compound kills bacteria in about an hour, as opposed to the six hours minimum required by other antibiotics.

The scientists will not have to worry about the dwindling population of Giant Pandas, or rely on their blood, because they have found a way to synthesize Cathelicidin-AM in a laboratory environment. The compound is an antimicrobial peptide, which means that the secret to creating it is locked in the Giant Panda's genes. "Gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides play an important role in innate immunity against noxious microorganisms. They cause much less drug resistance of microbes than conventional antibiotics," said Yan.

The biologists think that the compound could be used to develop either new drugs or new antiseptics for surface cleaning. Antimicrobial peptides have been found across multiple species as a basis for immunity, most notably in the mucous of snails and amphibians.

Source: The Telegraph
Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Even when it's not a black and white issue, it's a black and white issue.

Oh c'mon, it's like Pandas want to be killed, they eat the wrong food for their bodies, they don't want to have sex, and to top it off, their only use is too have their blood drained.

Has to be pandas which contain the antibiotics, couldn't be something shitty like badgers or goats.

On the bright side, we now have an actual reason to try and keep them from going extinct besides pity.

Well, I guess we have a legitimate excuse to not let these things just die out already. We can now harvest their blood for the sake of humanity! Except not really because the compound that gives them such immunity can be presumably viably synthesized in a laboratory environment because it's simply an antimicrobial peptide, which is essentially a type of protein! But barring that solution, we can definitely get those blood pumps running.

A Smooth Criminal:
Has to be pandas which contain the antibiotics, couldn't be something shitty like badgers or goats.

Ok, goats are pretty shitty, but badgers?
image

I seem to remember honey badger being pretty badass or words to that effect.

Agow95:
Oh c'mon, it's like Pandas want to be killed, they eat the wrong food for their bodies, they don't want to have sex, and to top it off, their only use is too have their blood drained.

We don't really need their blood, if I read the article correctly, since humans can make what we need from it in a lab. Pandas blood isn't even worth having.

I hope nobody tells Nick Cage about this:

I foresee a B Movie where humans became vampires after feeding too much on panda blood

They should test tiger blood next... where is Charlie Sheen?

Right everybody, I think this deserves a round of applause.

GO SCIENCE!

And this is why it is important to preserve our planet's biodiversity. There's still so much we don't know, and we literally constantly find new stuff that we can apply to make our lives better.

STAY AWAY FROM MY PEOPLE!

Mr.Pandah:
STAY AWAY FROM MY PEOPLE!

You were actually the first user I was thinking of when I read the title. XD

OT: Well that's interesting. It's also good to know that they can synthetically make the antibiotic so the pandas won't be extracted for blood.

Yay Pandas! Contributing to society in more than just awesome! SCIENCE!

Aw, all the good puns have already been made even though the thread has bearly any posts.

Mr.Pandah:
STAY AWAY FROM MY PEOPLE!

Quick, someone hold him, I'll drain his blood!

Cool! Hopefully this prevents a pandamic

Its nice that pandas are finally doing something useful. but since we can synthesize it, we dont actually need pandas. so, go medicine?
also capcha seesm to be from another topic: political party

Now All I can imagine is a crappy 1 am infomercial blaring metal music and using the the lines:
PANDA BLOOD! ALL NATURAL IMMUNITY ENHANCER! DRINK IT! DRINK ALL THE PANDA BLOOD! DEAD PANDAS! WHHHAAAAAAAAEEEAAA!
I'm a terrible person.

Aeshi:
On the bright side, we now have an actual reason to try and keep them from going extinct besides pity.

I agree, a financial reason for keeping a species going WILL keep it goin.

Alssadar:
Yay Pandas! Contributing to society in more than just awesome! SCIENCE!

Finally, some real news!

Twilight_guy:
PANDA BLOOD! ALL NATURAL IMMUNITY ENHANCER! DRINK IT! DRINK ALL THE PANDA BLOOD! DEAD PANDAS! WHHHAAAAAAAAEEEAAA!

I completely read that bit with Mr. Torgue's voice from Borderlands 2. I also added "SQUEEDLY MEEDLY MOW!" at the end.

Big deal, any living creature that is still alive contains natural antibiotics, even humans.

blackrave:
Big deal, any living creature that is still alive contains natural antibiotics, even humans.

Except these living creatures have antibiotics that we don't have. And humans have this really weird and insane desire to live for a long time without dying.

Would it be worth saving pandas for their body's ability to adjust the antibiotics to new threats? Meaning if we expose them to something we can't cure ourselves, maybe their bodies can come up with a solution? I know that sounds like lab testing on pandas, and it is, but I'm just curious.

Giant Panda Blood Contains Antibiotics[/a][/b] The scientists will not have to worry about the dwindling population of Giant Pandas, or rely on their blood, because they have found a way to synthesize Cathelicidin-AM in a laboratory environment.

And here i thought that Pandas can be as useful as those guys:


Well, good for them.

Yeah sure scientist can synthesize the antibiotic but poachers cant.
Really I think it's time that we simply let pandas go extinct you can't fight natural selection in the end pandas simply can't survive in a world with humans.
Well okay that's not really how I feel but sometimes I wonder or we aren't simply wasting a lot of money on something that's simply supposed to die.

Only a few weeks ago someone (I forget who) on Dara O'Briain's Science Club was talking about how you never know what rare and endangered animals might be able to do for humans. He even used a giant panda as an example about how, for all we knew, it could benefit our medical systems.

Huh.

I almost feel sad that we can synthesise the antibody - I thought this would be enough of a reason to want to save giant pandas besides the fact that they just look adorable.

Frankly, I am usually amused at how absolutely awful science reporting is.

As has been already pointed out, many mammalian species produce these molecules, including H. sapiens. Discovering them in pandas is not surprising. Second, when posting science reporting, please link to the journal article. I think it took me thirty seconds to find it. And while you're at it, at least dig as far as the abstract. And if reporting for a major publication, maybe have them pay for the full scientific article past the pay wall.

The actual article only states that the protein has anti-microbial properties where it interferes with cell walls (incidentally the mechanism of action of many classes of antibiotics as well as quite a few of our innate defenses). That's it. That's what this class of molecule is for. If the reporters had dug as far as the end of the first paragraph of the abstract, they would have found out that this class of molecule is already known and sequenced across many species. It's so well known that the researchers were able to find out which species the panda's version most resembled - namely, dog. So nothing really special about the panda. Maybe there will be a slight advantage because the variations between species. Bacteria which infect humans already resist the human version of the protein, so a novel version of it might provide a challenge the bacteria haven't seen before. However, these kinds of carefully speculative statements are a far cry from the way reporters report findings.

 

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