Funny the things found deep in a hole somewhere, like buried treasure, the kind those pirates secreted on some Caribbean island, or the gold those nasty train robbers of the Ole’ West buried in a cave on sacred Native American Indian land.
While this time the buried treasure was really uncovered deep within a cave out west, it turns out that it’s molecular in size. Still, it may end up being much more valuable than heaping piles of those fabled gems and golden coins.
Research teams from the University of Akron and McMaster University recovered several species of bacteria from more than 1,000 feet underground in Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico. It is speculated that the bacteria are believed to have remained isolated from the outside world for more than four million years
In the Dec 2016 issue of Nature Communications*, they reported their groundbreaking research of one bacterium, dubbed, Paenibacillus sp. LC231, showing, “the bacterium is resistant to 18 different antibiotics, and uses identical methods of defense as similar species found in soils. This suggests that the evolutionary pressure to conserve these resistance genes has existed for millions of years – not just since antibiotics were first used to treat disease.”
“Among the different ways that the bacteria could be resistant antibiotics, the scientists identified five novel pathways that were of potential clinical concern. Finding these new pathways is particularly valuable, as it gives researchers time to develop new drugs to combat this type of resistance, potentially decades before it will become a problem for doctors and their patients.”
“'We identified some unique mechanisms of resistance that haven’t even emerged in bacteria that make us sick, which is exciting because this means we have time to come up with potential mechanisms of resistance,' stated Dr. Hazel Barton, professor and director of Integrative Bioscience at The University of Akron.”**
Where there is resistance among bacteria in the environment, there must also be natural antibiotics that other micro-organisms have created. And, that means there is a range of antibiotics that exist somewhere in the environment yet to be discovered.
You're outahere Superman!! These bugs are really going to same mankind!
From the 1950s TV series, The Adventures of Superman
Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound.
Look Up in the Sky... it"s a bird... it's a plane... it's Superman!
Yes, it's Superman!
Strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.
Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers... bend steel in his bare hands.
And, who disguised as Clark Kent, mild mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and the American Way.
Stamp Day For Superman
* Pawlowski, A. C. et al. A diverse intrinsic antibiotic resistome from a cave bacterium. Nat. Commun. 7,13803 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13803 (2016).