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Will Platypus Milk Save The World?

Posted by Hoob on March 16th, 2018
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More than nuclear war and global warming, the big threat that hangs over humanity is superbugs. The drug resistant bacteria, viruses are nature’s answer to all the anti-biotics we’ve shoved into our systems and into the water table. As we’ve over-medicated ourselves, stopped taking prescriptions before they run their full cycles, and either dump or literally pee the drugs down the drain, the bugs have evolved and adapted to be resistant to everything we throw at it. Now researchers are turning to the strangers corners of the animal kingdom for help.

Take the animal so weird, that it either proves or disproves the existence of a higher power (depending on who you ask). The Platypus has a duck beak, it is a mammal that lays eggs. And… oh, by the way, it has poisonous feet. It turns out that, amidst all that weirdness, it also has a protein in its milk that does a better job at fighting superbugs than anything we are currently throwing at them.

Unfortunately, getting that milk isn’t as easy as Ben Still would leave you to believe. Instead of expressing milk through teats, nipples, or udders, the platypus sweats it out through their belly. Oddly, scientists think it could be that very process that has let to the evolution of the protein in question. By not using nipples, it provides a sterile method to deliver milk to the babies.

Source: BBC

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