Just because humans have made it to the top of the food chain doesn't mean we don't wet our pants every time a spider looks at us funny. Deep down we know that we're just clawless animals, and if left alone in a room with anything not cute enough for an animated gif, we'd exit via human-shaped hole in the wall. Or the door. It could go either way. That's why it's important to stop every once in a while and remind ourselves that the creatures in nature's nightmarish cavalcade of horrors are saving our lives every day.
For instance ...
5Crocodile Blood Might Kill Deadly MRSA Bacteria ... and HIV
Have you ever seen a crocodile apply antibiotics to his wounds after a gang fight? No, probably not, because their arms are so short. But you also never see crocodiles die of infection despite suffering horrific gashes while living in a bacterial soup of swamp water. After a major battle, crocs walk/swim away, heal up and go about their usual routine of pretending to be logs and floating in filth. This is why scientists started studying crocodile immune systems -- we've got people losing limbs to bacteria up here in the people world, so why aren't crocodiles dying of infection while living in an ecosystem experts refer to as "nature's toilet"?
An entire world, sauteed in turds.
So scientists grabbed some crocodile blood and started exposing it to different infections, including HIV (if you've ever met a crocodile with AIDS, that's some sad shit). What the researchers found was that while human blood could kill eight of the 23 strains of bacteria they attacked it with, alligator blood killed all 23, including antibiotic-resistant MRSA. From that point forward, the scientists renamed croc blood Muhammad Ali and human blood Screech Powers.
It turns out the crocodile's whole immune system is organized differently from ours. Instead of getting too technical about how it works, we'll let Australian scientist Adam Britton explain it: "The crocodile has an immune system which attaches to bacteria and tears it apart and it explodes." Fuck yes.
Here's an electron microscope shot of it in action.
So it is hoped that the croc blood proteins can be developed into drugs for humans (drugs that we hope will have pictures of crocodiles on the label), since those tests revealed that crocodile serum could explode lots of bacteria that plague humans, even those superbugs that are resistant to penicillin.
And yes, later tests showed it was also effective at killing HIV. There is a lot more testing to be done, so don't go crazy yet. It will take years just to make sure pumping a sick person full of crocodile blood doesn't turn them into Killer Croc.
Or if we have a say, ensure that it does.