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sharpiefan
02-08-2018, 09:52 AM
Study Sheds New Light On Antibiotics Produced by Ants (ARTICLE LINK) (https://news.ncsu.edu/2018/02/antibiotics-ants-2018/)



Excerpt
Ants, like humans, deal with disease.To deal with the bacteria that cause some of these diseases,some ants produce their own antibiotics. A new comparative study identified some ant species that make use of powerful antimicrobial agents–but found that 40 percent of ant species tested didn’t appear to produce antibiotics. The study has applications regarding the search for new antibiotics that can be used in humans.

“These findings suggest that ants could be a future source of new antibiotics to help fight human diseases,” says Clint Penick, an assistant research professor at Arizona State University and former postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University who is lead author of the study.

"One species we looked at, the thief ant (Solenopsismolesta), had the most powerful antibiotic effect of any species we tested – and until now, no one had even shown that they made use of antimicrobials,” says Adrian Smith, co-author of the paper, an assistant research professor of biological sciences at NC State and head of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Evolutionary Biology & Behavior Research Lab.

For this study, researchers tested the antimicrobial properties associated with 20 ant species. They did this by using a solvent to remove all of the substances on the surface of each ant’sbody. The resulting solution was then introduced to a bacterial slurry. The growth of the bacteria in the slurry was then compared to the growth of bacteria in a control group.


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