Antibiotics from 20,000 leagues under the sea

iStock_000000307266SmallNature has always provided inspiration for human medicine. Aspirin, penicillin, quinine, taxol- the list goes on. But now, with the increase of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, we need inspiration more than ever! So researchers are getting creative.

With advances in technology, we’re able to explore more of our planet than ever before. And that includes the deepest parts of the ocean!┬áThe Peru-Chile trench is 8 km deep (OK, so maybe only a league and a half under the sea- still pretty deep!) and it’s home to a multitude of organisms and microbes that flourish in extreme conditions.┬áThis could potentially be a huge breakthrough in the development of new medicines and new antibiotics.

The goal is to isolate bacteria, let it grow, and then test it on hundreds of disease samples to see what happens. If there’s a positive reaction, zebrafish might be able to help researchers in the next steps of testing. Let’s hope that research in the Peru-Chile trench yields some lifesaving results! It’s estimated that within a couple of decades, antibiotic resistance could be such a huge problem that simple infections could kill you. While that’s definitely an unsettling thought, it’s reassuring to know that researchers are going to such lengths to make sure that no stone is unturned in the search for new options!