Wallaby Milk Better than Penicillin - Biomimicry at Work


This one’s to show we can do cute and furry, while still bringing you news of environmental import. The Tammar Wallaby might just hold an answer to the dilemma of super bugs. These are bacteria that have developed resistance to our indiscriminate use of antibiotics. (And try buying a cleaning product in your big box store these days that doesn’t scream ‘antibacterial’.) Anyhow, the likes of Golden staph is back in our hospitals, and pencillin is losing its effectiveness, in many instances, to ward off such infectious beasties. So researchers are very interested in the Tammar Wallaby. When born, the kidney bean, that is a baby ‘joey’, has to crawl up its mum’s belly, from womb to pouch. All without a lung, mind you. (One day old joey seen in middle pic) Once safely anchored to the teat, it is dependent on the mother’s milk to provide all its immune protection for the first 100 days of life. Seems this milk is rather potent stuff. Against some bacteria it’s 100 times more aggressive, than even the best strain of penicillin. (Biomimicry is about taking notes from the pages of nature’s overly bountiful scrapbook. The great concern is that with umpteen species now on a new fast track to extinction, we may be left holding a book, from which many of the vital pages have been torn out.) Via ::New ScientistPS. The pic on the right is by Thorsten Milse, who was a category runner-up in the BBC Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2005. And rightly so. His drop dead gorgeous photographs of a polar bear mother with her cubs would have fans of Cute Overload delirious with joy. And any self respecting treehugger rushing out to save polar icecaps from melting.