The Economist: The 48 uses of dragon’s blood. March 2, 2017
Summary: Two scientists from George Mason University have just recently discovered 48 new types of potential AMPs (antimicrobial peptides) that have never been seen before in Komodo dragon blood. The goal is to be able to do more testing on these newly discovered peptides and hopefully use these peptides as a base for new antibiotics for infections.
Connections: In class we have talked a lot about antimicrobial resistance and how much of a problem it is. The scientists conducting this study used spectrometers, they must have done DNA testing, and also have done some type of physiology testing to discover these peptides.
Analysis: One reason I enjoy The Economist is because it is a source that reports on EVERYTHING, and sometimes articles are very short and get straight to the point so they are easy to read fast. But for this article and articles about science short is not always good. This article needs more information. It leaves you on a cliffhanger! The idea of gaining new medicines possibly from Komodo dragon’s is incredibly interesting, I can not wait for a more scientific article to be published about this study. But thanks to The Economist we now know that this research is being conducted.
Question: The article says that the Komodo dragon’s blood may be useful because the animal is so poisonous. What are other poisonous animals do you think could potentially be studied for this same type of experiment?