As the number of drug-resistant pathogens like the dreaded MRSA continues to increase, researchers have found a possible solution in a most unlikely place: the blood of the American alligator. Scientists speculate that the reptiles' harsh environment and propensity for eating sick and wounded animals favored the evolution of antimicrobial proteins in their bloodstreams. The next step is to isolate these compounds to see if they can be of use to us. Could one of nature's most fearsome killers turn out to be a life-saver?
* Mark Merchant, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana
* Lancia Darville, Doctoral student of Analytical Chemistry at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge