Panda Blood Could Be Source Of Super Drug

01/02/2013 03:13 EST

As if scientists needed another reason to save the beloved panda bear. It turns out that blood from the endangered Asian mammal could be a source for a next-generation antibiotic.

Scientists from the Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China showed that panda blood contained a peptide that could be synthesized to create a powerful anti-microbial agent. The research was published in the journal Gene.

Scientists told the Telegraph that cathelicidin-AM, the substance found in the animal's blood, could be used as a drug or an anti-microbial surface cleaner.

"Under the pressure of increasing micro-organisms with drug resistance against conventional antibiotics, there is urgent need to develop new type of anti-microbial agents. Gene-encoded anti-microbial peptides play an important role in innate immunity against noxious micro-organisms. They cause much less drug resistance of microbes than conventional antibiotics," scientist Xiuwen Yan told the Telegraph.

According to Discovery News scientists won't even have to poke pandas with a needle to get their blood because they've developed a way to synthesize the peptide in the lab.

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