Podcast Transcript: Time for another episode of Those Amazing Alligators. On March 14, we told you how gators use their lungs to steer through the water. Now, Louisiana biochemists say that alligator blood may hold the key to fighting infections. In people. They presented their findings at the American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans. Alligators, it seems, have unusually robust immune systems. They’re able to swiftly eliminate invading viruses, bacteria and other microbial nasties. So the scientists collected some alligator blood. (Something you should not try at home. Unless you live in Florida. Actually, no, still don’t try it at home.)
The researchers then extracted a slew of proteins from some disease-busting white blood cells. And they found that, in a culture dish, just a pinch of gator protein could destroy a wide variety of bugs, including the dreaded methicillin-resistant Staph aureus or MRSA. The scientists are now trying to figure out which proteins in the gator extract are the most potent. They’ll then use those proteins to try to develop a new line of human-disease-fighting alligator antibiotics. Beats alligator shoes, which ain’t gonna stomp out your MRSA.