Medical science and research has always been searching for ways to fight infection by looking into different ingredients from such sources as plants, animals, and even chemical synthetics. Perhaps now the medical field may have found an unlikely solution from Komodo Dragons. This may sound like some mythical yore from Merlin-era alchemists, but as it turns out, the Komodo dragon could be an unusual sort of hero in the fight against diseases. As medical research has discovered, the blood of this reptile could be crucial to helping humans fight infection.
Based on very new research from the George Mason University, the Indonesian lizard’s blood can help create an antimicrobial compound that aids the healing process of various wounds, and also kills a certain kind of bacteria found frequently in various forms of infections. According to the study, which was published in the journal Biofilms and Microbiomes, scientists tested a compound that was Komodo dragon blood-based on mice that had skin lesions. They discovered that the mice healed much more rapidly than mice that were either left untreated or treated with existing methods. This discovery, the scientists said, could mean the creation of a brand new kind of antibiotic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that some 23,000 Americans die every year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections, as revealed in their annual reports. In this line, the Komodo dragon could save tens of thousands of lives. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should try to go out and get a Komodo dragon in the wild and drink its blood. These are the world’s biggest lizards, capable of reaching 10 feet in length when fully grown, and are perhaps best known for their venomous bites. Their saliva contains a deadly bacterium that is fatal to prey, but completely ineffective against other Komodo dragons.
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And it is this resistance that scientists have capitalized upon, isolating the microbe-fighting components of the dragon’s plasma, and creating the aptly named DRGN-1 compound that was applied to the test mice. According to the published paper, “DRGN-1 exhibited promising antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties. Moreover, the DRGN-1 peptide significantly promoted wound healing in vitro and in vivo, in both uninfected and mixed bio-film infected wounds.” So perhaps if all this research turns out well people could soon be applying creams and taking antibiotics made with Komodo dragon blood.
However, a few problems could crop out from all this from the Indonesian government and other enterprising Muslims there. In the likelihood of commercial manufacturing of medicines using Komodo Dragon blood, the Muslim-dominated government and other entrepreneurs could likely begin capturing Komodo Dragons in massive numbers in order to extract their blood, leading to consequences on the environment and the animal’s habitat. This is the scenario that happened in Indonesia when western companies began seeking the feces of the Civet ‘cat’ that eventually led to the commercial “Kopi Luwak” but also led to the massive captivity of thousands of Civets.