New Antibiotic Could Come from Unlikely Source
Komodo dragons are an interesting species native to five of the southeastern islands of Indonesia: Komodo, Rinca, Gili Montang, Gili Dasami, and the island of Flores. The male portion of the species can grow to an astounding length of 8.5 ft. and weight from 170 to 200 lbs.; Females can grow up to 7.5 ft. long and weight around 150 to 160 lbs.
Although Komodo dragons are viewed as dangerous because of their large size and bacteria-infested saliva, new research has suggested that they could actually benefit human health in an unlikely way. Protein fragments in the blood of a Komodo dragon help them resist toxic bacteria, which scientists are now testing in order to create an antibiotic which could hold the same effect for humans.
Since the Komodo dragons are not affected by the bacteria in their mouth, it indicates that they are immune. DRGN-1 is the name of the peptide that was created from the blood of the Komodo and tested on mice. According to BBC News, the antibiotic, DRGN-1, was successful when treating infected wounds in mice.
This isn't this first time a poisonous reptile has been used to advance medicine and even beauty. According to a 2013 National Geographic article, the Gila monster's venom can treat type 2 diabetes, and the Temple Pit Viper's venom has been used to create an anti-wrinkle cream.