Komodo dragon blood might hold the key to the global antibiotic-resistance crisis

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Komodos are tough. Really, really tough, both inside and out.

Their outside is covered in what’s basically a bony chainmail. But it’s what’s inside that might be what keeps Komodo dragons—and maybe one day humans—alive.

As you can see in the video above, scientists at George Mason University inspected Komodo dragon blood with “bio-prospecting” chemicals and found 48 separate protein-like compounds, called antimicrobial peptides, in the blood of Komodo dragons that ward off bacteria and eight which fight bacteria that are resistant to treatment by current antibiotics.

Taking the best of these, they designed and created a new synthetic peptide even stronger than the ones found in the Komodo dragon’s blood. The synthetic compound, named DRGN-1 (pronounced “dragon one”), is really good at killing infection-causing bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Not only do they look really cool but Komodo dragons might save us all.