When a joey (baby wallaby) is born, it is weak and lives in its mother’s pouch. In the pouch, it is exposed to all sorts of bacteria, many of which could harm it.
CSIRO Science by email reports that researchers from the University of Sydney discovered genes in wallabies that enable the females to produce chemicals called peptides in their milk. The researchers tested these peptides on a range of bacteria, including some superbugs that are resistant to three or more different antibiotics. They discovered that these peptides were extremely good at killing bacteria, even the resistant types.
The peptides play an important role in protecting the joey from bacteria. The researchers hope that these chemicals will be used to develop new medicines to protect us from harmful bacteria