first_img Okay, so if you grew up around people who love incense (*cough cough* my mom) you might be thinking of the bubbling red resin known as dragon’s blood (that’s what I first thought, anyway), but we’re going to be talking about the Komodo Dragon. And yes, I know, this was probably just as disappointing to those who thought I meant an actual dragon but… c’mon, we all know dragons aren’t real.Tastefully vague headline aside, scientists are working on isolating a new, natural antibiotic found in the dragons’ blood. A team from George Mason University studied a powerful peptide (one of the building blocks of proteins). With some rejiggering, the group made the peptide even more powerful and gave it a new, awesome, codename: DRGN-1. That’s a lot cooler-sounding than CRISPR, even, proving that the biologists who aren’t too uptight have rightfully taken control of the field.Even better, much like the new vancomycin we have coming, DRGN-1 helps in three different ways. First, it attacks biofilms, before breaking apart bacterial membranes (their skin, essentially) causing them to burst. To top it all off, DRGN-1 also helps wounds heal, or at least it does in mice. But researchers are confident this effect will work in humans too.Biofilms are the gross slimes bacteria form when they band together, and the main reason your teeth feel gross when you don’t brush. Properly-established films can’t be busted up easily, though (which is why you need to see your dentist for regular cleanings, even if you brush/floss/mouth wash every day). Even worse, when these films form inside of tissues, they’re almost indestructible. Plus, it’s not exactly a good idea to use dental tools on anything other than… y’know… teeth. That, plus just poking holes in the skin of microbes is pretty damned brutal, but humanity’s hard-up for new discoveries that could help us combat infections, now that antimicrobial resistance is on the rise.Still, this should be another bit of hope for anyone worried that we’re about to go back to the medical dark ages. I mean, yeah critical chunks of infrastructure can be disabled with virtually zero effort, but at least we’ve got plenty of weapons to wholesale slaughter bacteria, right?The only thing this isn’t absolutely amazing here is, for right now, the researchers only recommend it for “topical wound treatment.” It’s not yet clear if there will be a systemic version, but even if there isn’t, we still have vancomycin 3.0.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target T-Shirt Tuesday: The Best Monster Hunter ShirtsWell, That Was Probably Game of Thrones’ Saddest Death last_img