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BOB HIRSHON (host):
Medicine from the sea. I'm Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
(SFX: Ocean waves)
With bacteria becoming increasingly resistant to available antibiotics, scientists are searching the ocean for new ones. Recently, they've discovered a compound called anthracimycin, which kills the dangerous strain of Staph bacteria known as MRSA, as well as anthrax. Scripps Institution oceanographer William Fenical explains. WILLIAM FENICAL (Scripps Institution of Oceanography):
What's important about this discovery is that this does not belong to any known class of antibiotics. HIRSHON:
That means pathogens like MRSA haven't had the chance to evolve resistance to it yet. Anthracimycin needs further testing before it can be used in humans, but its discovery highlights the untapped potential of sea life as a source of future medicines. FENICAL:
And these organisms represent an enormous resource when you consider the vastness of the ocean bottom.
I'm Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.
Story by Susanne Bard