Editors Note: This article was originally published by Jennifer Lance of Blue Living Ideas.
Advocates for rainforest conservation often cite how these forests are “nature’s medicine cabinet“. With only one percent of the world’s tropical plants tested for their medicinal properties and 120 prescription drugs originating in rainforest plants already, the cure to many illnesses may be contained in these tropical forests. What about our oceans? Could they also contain the medicines of the future?
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have identified several alternatives to antibiotics among marine sponge compounds that help the sponge ward off predators and infections. Professor Micha Ilan believes these compounds could become the super antibiotics of the future. Considering the recent public health threat from diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics, sea sponges in our oceans may one day save our lives. The US Food and Drug Administration explains:
Disease-causing microbes that have become resistant to drug therapy are an increasing public health problem. Tuberculosis, gonorrhea, malaria, and childhood ear infections are just a few of the diseases that have become hard to treat with antibiotic drugs.
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