Drug-resistant microorganisms, major infectious diseases, looming influenza pandemics, and scary biowarfare agents all call out for development of new antimicrobial drugs. While scientists are combing the plant and animal realms for promising candidates, quite a few of their efforts remain hit-and-miss. After many years of testing, the outcomes often disappoint. Meanwhile, even excellent drugs like artemisinin in the treatment of malaria risk losing their effectiveness as poor and ignorant people around the world use them in ways that conduce to the rise of drug resistance.
So there is a palpable need for a source of novel antimicrobials that can keep one step ahead of the rise of drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Here is one idea for how to obtain them. Continue reading »