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January 1 2013

Pandas may be source of new antibiotics: report

Pandas are more than just cute, cuddly creatures.

Researchers have found that the endangered animals produce a strong antibiotic in their blood that fights against drug-resistant superbugs – a discovery that may add weight to conservation efforts.

The antibiotic compound, cathelicidin-AM, destroys both fungi and bacteria, and is released by the animal’s immune system to ward off infections, the Telegraph reported.

Scientists at Life Sciences College of Nanjing Agricultural University in China found cathelicidin-AM while studying pandas’ DNA.

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