The toxins in scorpion venom are called the "storehouse of drugs" for the next generation of medicine. They have recently been used to develop effective immunosuppressants, a cure for malaria, and a cancer-fighting amino acid detector for detecting tumors in the brain. The latest research from Stanford brings more good news: some of these toxins are effective in killing staphylococcal and tuberculous bacteria.
The new drug was received at the National University of Mexico. Scientists obtained several samples of the venom of the scorpion species Diplocentrus melici and isolated two unusual compounds from it. One of them turned red upon contact with air, and the second took on a blue tint. Chemists from Stanford came to the aid in identifying the mysterious substances, who established that these substances belong to benzoquinones.
When scientists began to study the properties of the finds, they were delighted. The red benzoquinone successfully killed the staphylococcus bacteria, the blue one dealt with the population of tuberculosis microbes resistant to other drugs. And all this - without damaging the lung tissue samples of the mice on which the studies were carried out. Thus, scientists have discovered another way to create effective drugs that are harmless to patients.
Better yet, researchers have already succeeded in producing prototypes of synthetic analogs of these benzoquinones. It is very expensive to extract useful substances directly from scorpion venom, a liter of high-quality raw materials will cost $ 10 million. And synthesized versions of specific compounds are much cheaper.