Science is Sweet: Could Fungus Relieve Our Superbug Woes?

We hear about it on the news all the time: our rampant over-use of antibiotics is creating an increasing threat of medicine-resistant bacteria. Ever-evolving to bypass science’s best attempts at control, these microbes are hell bent on human destruction.

But like Godzilla’s recent movie success so beautifully illustrated—bacteria is able to decimate ancient spider-bat monsters(?) unlike us pitiful humans—we may have found a way for nature to restore order. It’s bacteria vs. fungus, and for once, fungus is on our side.

Hitting a Wall with Antibiotics

Antibiotics require a lot of laboratory trial and error to find winning treatments, and it may shock you to learn scientists have failed to develop any new antibiotics since the 1980s. That’s three decades of antibiotic stagnancy, even as bacteria has been plotting its wretched comeback.

But wait—can you hear that? That wuiet and steady call coming from the earth, vowing to help us in our micro-organism fight to the death? Why it’s . . . soil-dwelling fungus! Sure, it lacks a certain polish when it comes to our perception of all-natural remedies, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Survival of the Fungal-ist

You see, a team of scientists from McMaster University in Canada have been toiling away at our super-bug problem, and they recently found fungal molecule capable of weakening “super-bug” bacteria, and rendering those dastardly microbes suddenly treatable with standard antibiotics.

The researchers infected three different groups of the rodents—give it up for those generous, martyred mice!—with a super-bug bacterial strain. Group one was treated with just an antibiotic, group two with just the fungal molecule, and the winning group three received both—the only ones to survive the infection.

Promising Treatment

If experiments continue to go swimmingly, the molecule could provide a vital new weapon against the global threat of super-bugs—which means fungus just might shortly be included in your insurance package.

Unless, that is, you work for a religious organization or company/person (legally the same thing these days) that decides God told them fungus is evil. Because apparently the Supreme Court is predisposed to look mighty kindly on medical funding prohibitions on the behest of employers. So employees of Hobby Lobby—or the approximately 50% of other “closely-held” companies employing the private sector—you better hope HQ doesn’t get any anti-fungal revelations should a super-bug start wreaking havoc across these United States.

After all, that could really cut down on your productivity.




Image: Thinkstock


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