BEACON TRANSCRIPT – If you ever thought about growing a beard someday, here’s one more reason to get you started. According to a new research project, the next gen of antibiotics is found in men’s beards.
As baffling as this statement would seem, men’s five-o-clock shadows may indeed hold the key to developing a whole new line of antibiotics, drugs that will be capable of fighting against the strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
If you are wondering what the connection between beards and antibiotics is, here are a couple of facts on the topic. Not too long ago, a TV presenter for Albuquerque wrote a most unusual story. With his editor’s blessing, the intrepid journalist used a swab in order to collect microbiological samples from men’s beards.
The swabs were then taken to a microbiologist, who used them to perform a couple of tests. The lab results showed that the beard cultures presented high levels of enteric, bacteria usually found in our smaller intestine. Although the article’s conclusion was a bit far-fetched (the headline talked about men’s beards containing traces of fecal matter and that men’s beards contain more poo than a regular toilet), it managed to catch the eye of other specialists.
Even though enteric are found in our intestinal flora and they play a key role in breaking down food into fecal matter, they are hardly fecal matter. Moreover, the same type of flora can also be found on our skin.
Well, it would seem that this astute scientifical demonstration caught the eye of a microbiologist working for the University College of London. Adam Roberts, a microbiologist working for the esteemed University has discovered that bacteria found in men’s beard can be used in order to fashion a new line of antibiotics.
Roberts himself declared that the next generation of antibiotics is found in men’s beards and that we can be looking at a new golden age of antibiotics. For a year now, the microbiologist and his colleagues have been involved in a project called “Swab and Send”. Basically, the scientists received swab samples from all over the world in order to study potential candidates for new antibiotics.
So far, the team received swabs from Egyptian bills and even computer keyboards. Their initial result indicated that the strains of bacteria found in the swab samples showed promising results against Staph, E.coli, and yeast.
Taking an interest in the story, the microbiologist was asked by the BBC to conduct a series of experiments on the beard samples. According to Roberts, his team amassed over 20 beard swabs which contained no more than 100 different bacteria.
According to their lab results, approximately 25 percent of the isolated strands are capable of fending off dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The doctor also pointed out that the study and its results may be used in order to fashion new antibiotics, ones that are capable of fighting off resistant infections.