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Scientists Are Testing Honey for Sources of New Antibiotics

Honey is a traditional remedy for wound healing due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Now, scientists at Cardiff University are going back to this ancient cure to search for the next wave of bacteria-fighting medicine - ‘new antibiotics’. The honey works as a ‘drug discovery tool’. Researchers test samples of honey for antibacterial compounds, then follow them back, using technology, to the plant species the bees visited.

Many of these plants would otherwise be dismissed as weeds, but species such as the dandelion contain compounds that kill germs. Scientists are hoping to isolate and refine these compounds for a new wave of drugs.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global health threat. In 2019, 1.3 million people died directly from AMR, more than from HIV/Aids or malaria. The last discovery of a new class of antibiotics was in the 1980s. Scientists are also exploring Albicidin, a powerful plant toxin, as a potential new antibiotic. Watch to learn more about the possibilities for new antibiotics.

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