Platypus could help beat superbugs, battle climate change

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Melbourne, May 6 (ANI): The platypus - a semi-aquatic mammal - could help beat superbugs and fight climate change.

In a first, researchers at Victoria's Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have isolated, synthesised and tested a number of platypus proteins called antimicrobials.

These substances, similar to antiseptics that kill bacteria, are 10 times more powerful in killing bacteria than conventionally used antimicrobials, according to Victorian Agriculture Minister Joe Helper.

"If we can harness some of this potential we could better protect patients from 'superbugs', meaning they will recover from surgery faster and spend less time in hospital," news.com.au quoted him as saying.PI deputy secretary Dr Bruce Kefford said scientists were already using their discovery to help the livestock industry.

"If introduced into the stomachs of cattle, these platypus antimicrobials could improve an animal's digestion of feed and reduce methane production, one of Australia's largest contributors of total greenhouse gas emissions," he said. (ANI)

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