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01/02/2013 03:13 EST

Panda Blood Could Be Source Of Super Drug

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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