- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Will panda blood solve the antibiotic crisis? Unlikely.
There’s a story going round about Chinese scientists who have discovered a “powerful antibiotic” in the blood of the giant panda. It seems to have originated in the Daily Telegraph, where Richard Gray wrote:
“Researchers discovered the compound, known as cathelicidin-AM, after analysing the panda’s DNA… Dr Xiuwen Yan, who led the research at the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China, said: “It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi, both standard and drug-resistant strains. Under the pressure of increasing microorganisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of antimicrobial agents.“
Let me put this plainly: If this discovery actually leads to a new antibiotic—one