- European biologists found a bacteria-killing compound in mushrooms that grows in horse dung—and it's a protein known as copsin.
- Copsin has the same effects on bacteria as traditional antibiotics.
- The research team is led by Markus Aebi and is based at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
The excitement that copsin has caused is based on many factors, including the fact that antibiotic-resistant infections are on the rise and becoming increasingly deadly. Scientists have been worikng with a great deal of determination to find treatments for diseases, such as tuberculosis.
Copsin is unique in that it is a protein and most antibiotics are non-protein organic compounds. Nonetheless, copsin has the sought-after qualities that make any substance with antibiotic potential desirable. Copsin is a very stable protein that can withstand intense heat and exposure to acid. It can also be treated with aggressive enzymes and remain completely active.
Plus, given the fact that it grows in common mushrooms in horse manure, it's sufficiently copious. This makes it ideal for applications in the food industry. Dr. Aebi and his team have registered copsin for patent approval.