Published January 02, 2013
Chinese scientists reported that pandas may be a source of powerful antibiotics in the future, The Daily Telegraph reported.
According to researchers at Nanjing Agricultural University, pandas produce a substance that kills bacteria and fungi.
There are about 1,600 pandas in the world – making them an endangered species – but the antibiotic substance, which is thought to be in the animal’s immune system, may be what protects them from deadly diseases.
Scientists say the compound, known as cathelicidin-AM, may be used to make strong treatments for drug-resistant superbugs, among other ailments.
The scientists said using the panda’s compounds for drugs will not harm the animal’s capacity to breed; they will reproduce the compound artificially in a lab.