Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics

Date:
September 7, 2010
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Cockroaches could be more of a health benefit than a health hazard, according to scientists who have discovered powerful antibiotic properties in the brains of cockroaches and locusts.

Cockroach. Cockroaches could be more of a health benefit than a health hazard according to scientists from the University of Nottingham, who have discovered powerful antibiotic properties in the brains of cockroaches and locusts.
Credit: iStockphoto/Michael Pettigrew

Cockroaches could be more of a health benefit than a health hazard, according to scientists from the University of Nottingham who have discovered powerful antibiotic properties in the brains of cockroaches and locusts.

Simon Lee, a postgraduate researcher who is presenting his work at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting in Nottingham, describes how the group identified up to nine different molecules in the insect tissues that were toxic to bacteria. These substances could lead to novel treatments for multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.

The group found that the tissues of the brain and nervous system of the insects were able to kill more than 90% of Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli, without harming human cells. Studying the specific properties of the antibacterial molecules is currently underway in the laboratory. "We hope that these molecules could eventually be developed into treatments for E. coli and MRSA infections that are increasingly resistant to current drugs," explained Mr Lee. "Also, these new antibiotics could potentially provide alternatives to currently available drugs that may be effective but have serious and unwanted side effects," he said.

The pharmaceutical industry is generating fewer and fewer new antibiotics due to lack of financial incentives, meaning that alternative sources of new drugs are much needed. Mr Lee explained why it is unsurprising that insects secrete their own antimicrobials. "Insects often live in unsanitary and unhygienic environments where they encounter many different types of bacteria. It is therefore logical that they have developed ways of protecting themselves against micro-organisms," he explained.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906202901.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2010, September 7). Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906202901.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Insect brains are rich stores of new antibiotics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100906202901.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins