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Breast Milk Protein Tested To Destroy Antibiotic-Resistant Superbugs

Update Date: Jan 26, 2016 10:46 AM EST
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UK-based scientists have achieved a breakthrough by harnessing the power of a protein found in breast milk to effectively fight off increasingly drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs.

According to The Guardian, experts from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and University College London discovered that the less than a nanometer-sized minuscule fragment of the protein called lactoferrin holds the key to the future of medication against antibiotic resistant bacteria.

That part gives lactoferrin all its anti-microbial properties against many types of infections and diseases that threaten to undermine a baby's survival in the first few months of life.

The protein is so powerful that it could virtually exterminate bacteria, fungi, and viruses as soon as it comes in contact them.

As reported by Lancaster Evening Post, scientists re-reengineered the protein into projectile-like capsules and observe its attack on the membranes of the intended bacterial targets.

"The challenge was not just to see the capsules, but to follow their attack on bacterial membranes. The result was striking: the capsules acted as projectiles porating the membranes with bullet speed and efficiency," remarked Hasan Alkassem, a proponent who worked on the said project as quoted by Sky News.

As of the moment, lactoferrin isn't ready yet for prescription as it requires further research development before a viable drug could be produced based on these breakthrough findings.

Nevertheless, the discovery is a huge boost to the current global efforts of combatting drug-resistant superbugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) candidly admits that new strains of drug-resistant bacteria have evolved from the misuse of antibiotics.

"It's a real threat today. It's going to be a bigger threat. Every time somebody has a fever, a doctor can give them an antibiotic. We have to stop that," warned cancer and biotechnology expert Dr. David Agus as stated in an article by Tech Times.

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