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Antibiotics in cockroach brains could treat MSRA and E-Coli

A troublesome household pest could soon provide healthy benefits to humans. Tissue from the brains and nervous systems of the common cockroach contain bacteria fighting properties that may help banish serious infections. As a result, “superbugs” like MRSA and E-Coli can be destroyed more than 90 percent of the time without damaging human cells. 

Researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the UK's University of Nottingham identified up to nine different molecules in the tissue of cockroaches and locusts that were toxic to bacteria.

The team of scientists has discovered that the bugs secrete their own antimicrobials and is currently studying specific properties of the antibacterial molecules. 

Simon Lee, a postgraduate researcher and Dr. Dr Naveed Khan, an Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology, presented their findings at the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting this week according to

"Insects often live in unsanitary and unhygienic environments where they encounter many different types of bacteria. It is therefore logical that they have developed ways of protecting themselves against micro-organisms," said Lee.

The potency of the antibacterial molecules found in these insects are now being tested on various superbugs including Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas and Burkholderia. 

"We hope that these molecules could eventually be developed into treatments for E. coli and MRSA infections that are increasingly resistant to current drugs. These new antibiotics could potentially provide alternatives to currently available drugs that may be effective but have serious and unwanted side effects."

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I wonder...
By Spivonious on 9/8/2010 10:20:55 AM , Rating: 1
if all of our antibiotics are simply weakening our immune systems.

RE: I wonder...
By Kurz on 9/8/2010 10:26:50 AM , Rating: 5
Well... its not the antibiotics weakening our immune systems. Since you still get exposed to the pathogen.

Whats weakening our immune systems is our over cleanliness.
From Anti bacterial soaps, our nice indoor fortresses we put up around us, etc...

RE: I wonder...
By Omega215D on 9/8/2010 10:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
meh, since cockroaches are virtually indestructible I'd say this might be the ticket! =P

RE: I wonder...
By MrTeal on 9/8/2010 11:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
Just start the roach gene therapy.


RE: I wonder...
By Motoman on 9/8/2010 11:45:29 AM , Rating: 5

Anti-bacterial soaps are among the stupidest ideas we've ever had...and just try to find a hand soap at the store that isn't anti-bacterial these days.

Those soaps, hand lotions, etc. do nothing but ridiculously speed up evolution for our little "friends" - breeding super-strains of said microorganisms that are resistant to our methods of killing them.

Also, too much prescribing/use of antibiotics medically does the same thing, and helps super-bugs like MRSA evolve and spread.

Finally, parents seriously need to stop bubble-wrapping their children. Kids have to be outside, they need to eat dirt, they need to put bugs, worms, and snakes in their pockets, and generally be filthy. That's how the human body learns to be healthy. Keeping your kid in a hermetically-sealed home does nothing but ensure that he'll have every allergy in the world and be miserable for the rest of his life.

RE: I wonder...
By AssBall on 9/8/2010 12:11:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think antibiotics are way over-prescribed too. Go to the doctor, he says, here's some pills, go away now.

RE: I wonder...
By theArchMichael on 9/8/2010 12:31:46 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah but in USA... the doctors can get sued if they don't provide you with prescription, ie. it's safer (for them) to over-prescribe than to under-prescribe.

RE: I wonder...
By Spivonious on 9/8/2010 12:41:59 PM , Rating: 5
Very true. The first step towards lowering medical costs in this country is tort reform for malpractice lawsuits. The second step is disconnecting health insurance from employment. With those two items costs charged by the provider go down, premiums for insurance go down, and more people are insured.

RE: I wonder...
By TxJeepers on 9/8/2010 12:53:47 PM , Rating: 3
amen brother

RE: I wonder...
By Souka on 9/8/2010 4:49:31 PM , Rating: 2
How do you think doctors get all those spiffy pens and note pads... that sport the logo of the drugs they prescribe! :)

RE: I wonder...
By Spivonious on 9/9/2010 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they get those (and tickets to sporting events, concerts, etc.) regardless of whether or not they actually prescribe the drugs. I have tons of notepads and pens and have been to Phillies/Eagles games thanks to those pharma reps. :)

RE: I wonder...
By Kurz on 9/8/2010 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
In addition to what you said I would love be open for consumption. Forget this BS about FDA limiting what you can and can't take in your system.

Drugs should be payed by you and you alone.
The only thing I believe that should be limited is antibotics mostly because of bacteria becoming super bugs.

Everything else is your decision.

RE: I wonder...
By FaceMaster on 9/8/2010 7:54:39 PM , Rating: 2
I would love be open for consumption.

And I'd like the first bite, please.

RE: I wonder...
By Kurz on 9/9/2010 12:13:42 AM , Rating: 2
Drugs... God damn... I hate IE 6

RE: I wonder...
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 12:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I generally try to take drugs as little as possible. I got some anti-biotics for a severe tonsil infection that basically was cutting off my ability to breathe. But if I'm sick with just a cold or something, I take a sudafed or something to fight the symptoms and learn nature run its course. As a result, I generally healthy. I haven't had a flu shot in two years. Did get a mild flu though during the heart of the swine flu craze. Got over the bulk of it and went back to work.

RE: I wonder...
By chick0n on 9/8/2010 1:13:23 PM , Rating: 4
amen brother.

I try to avoid as much meds as possible. I never had any flu shots and I rarely have flu/cold.

When I do, I just stay home, rest, drink lots of water, rest. and it will go away in a day or 2.

Its funny that some of my "dumb" friends keep telling me its bad not to take pills and Im stupid to take a day off or 2 just to "sleep the flu/cold" away.

sure dumbass, I can get them out in 2 days without any help. And my dumb friends gotta take all those stupid meds for a WEEK(sometimes, weekS) to get well. and guess what they get sick all the time. while I hardly get any. :)

RE: I wonder...
By Ammohunt on 9/8/2010 2:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
I never had the flu before last year after that experience i will get a flu shot every year from now on took 2 months to clear up completely; only fools reject vaccinations.

RE: I wonder...
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 3:45:32 PM , Rating: 1
Tell that to those who die from them. It isn't a lot of people. But it happens.

RE: I wonder...
By Ammohunt on 9/8/2010 6:27:33 PM , Rating: 3
as compared to those that die from the Flu every year? LOL

RE: I wonder...
By Fritzr on 9/8/2010 7:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like we should be studying those people instead of cockroaches. If they are dying from the flu multiple times it would be useful to know how they are recovering from death :P

RE: I wonder...
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 12:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah thats why I don't use that crap or buy all this "EGGS ARE GOING TO KILL YOU!" bullsh*t.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What does kill you doesn't really matter to you.

RE: I wonder...
By gsellis on 9/14/2010 12:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
Consider that necrotizing fasciitis can have a fatality rate approaching 80%, I want to see a new class of antibiotics.

But as for junk science, I am with you.

RE: I wonder...
By muhahaaha on 9/8/2010 12:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
so true.

It may sound gross to some, but I rarely wash my hands, and never with antibacterial soap. Haven't had a cold or anything in 4 years.

I just laugh at all these people that have to sanitize their hands and shopping cart handles at the grocery store.

If you don't have contact with bacteria, you aren't going to gain any resistance to it.

My dad was a school teacher at an elementary school and had sneezing, coughing, booger picking kids around him all day. He never got sick more than 2 times in 20 years.

RE: I wonder...
By FaceMaster on 9/8/2010 7:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
Whats weakening our immune systems is our over cleanliness.

...and THAT'S why I refuse to do the washing up, or to shower.

IT's about time...
By Pneumothorax on 9/8/2010 10:56:15 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly we haven't had a new class of antibiotics in pretty much over a decade and the current ones are becoming more worthless day by day due to overuse in hospitals and by animal farms. There's also little money to be made on it as it's one of the few medications that actually CURE the disease so big pharma would rather put their big bucks on chronic ailments.

RE: IT's about time...
By Kurz on 9/8/2010 11:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
Really? you are blaming big pharma for not giving you cures for bacteria?

RE: IT's about time...
By FITCamaro on 9/8/2010 12:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you know man? Its all a big conspiracy. They have a cure for AIDS but you know those rich white folk hate black people and gays so they want them to keep dying.

Just waiting for the down rating on this but I could care less. Can't take a sarcastic comment, go home.

RE: IT's about time...
By AssBall on 9/8/2010 3:47:36 PM , Rating: 4
He does have some points though. Most medical research is done purely for financial interests rather than discovery and understanding. I've always said if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then greed is the father.

RE: IT's about time...
By EricMartello on 9/16/2010 5:11:46 AM , Rating: 1
If we laced KFC and Popeyes chicken with some kind of drug that inhibits the reproductive system, I can assure you that inner-city crime rates would plummet. :D

RE: IT's about time...
By Tigerwraith on 9/8/2010 12:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
Theres things yall have to realize and look at.

1. Antibiotics have been overperscribed, it used to be if you had flu like symptoms you would get a scrip for antibiotics which did nothing. The flu you can only treat the symptoms. Also people only taking their antibiotic till they get better and not the full 2 week course will also have the same effect.

2. Industrial livestock farms have been over feeding the livestock antibiotics because they can pack in more animals that way. So at the end of the day when you have your chicken or pork how much antibiotics do you think your eating.

3. Yes the antimicrobial soaps did help as well with the superbugs, prob companies not putting enough into the soap or the mixer was just a little off, so there was just enough in the soap to make the bugs sick but not kill them.

You add up all these factors and its amazing we dont have more superbugs than we already have. And this story only named the ones that can be treated with vancomyacn. IT didnt tell you about the real superbug out there VRE, Vancomyacn Resistant Enterococcus, or its new brother VDE..... ill let yall do the google search on those.

RE: IT's about time...
By jordanclock on 9/9/2010 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Fun fact: Antibacterial soaps are just regular soaps. Soap in general kills bacteria. It's nice to us, very harsh to them.

RE: IT's about time...
By Kurz on 9/9/2010 4:33:40 PM , Rating: 2
What you just said was incorrect. Soap only binds and carries away dirt and bacteria, while anti Bacterial soaps attempt to kill the bacteria.

Heres a link:

First link

RE: IT's about time...
By Kurz on 9/9/2010 4:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
What you just said was incorrect. Soap only binds and carries away dirt and bacteria, while anti Bacterial soaps attempt to kill the bacteria.

Heres a link:

First link

By stusan on 9/8/2010 2:51:57 PM , Rating: 3
So, Science has found a new antibiotic from the brains of cockroaches and locusts that works against nasty "superbugs" MSRA and some types of E. coli. Win!

And when these superbugs adapt to the new antibiotic, Science will have a new weapon for use against cockroaches and locusts.


I'm not sure where the people fit into all this. The main point, though, is that Science Marches On!

RE: Win/Win?
By FaceMaster on 9/8/2010 7:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
“superbugs” like MRSA and E-Coli can be destroyed more than 90 percent of the time without damaging human cells.

I'm just concerned about the other 10% of cases where the human cells were damaged as well!

RE: Win/Win?
By Fritzr on 9/8/2010 8:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
I to saw that 90% kill rate. That leaves 10% of "New&Improved Drug" resistant bacteria to produce the next generation of drug fighters.

Isn't that how we got to MRSA superbugs in the first place?

RE: Win/Win?
By shiftypy on 9/9/2010 3:46:31 AM , Rating: 2
More likely injection of cockroach brain tissue (...yeah...) just created an inflammation in human tissue without affecting the infection. So those Ecoli have no resistance, yet.

By Etern205 on 9/8/2010 6:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think you guys should replace it with a pic of the roach wearing a leather jacket while its head and wheels on the bike are on fire.


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