Scientists are working feverishly to find new ways to fight antibiotic-resistant strains of staph bacteria such as e-coli and MRSA, which have become epidemic throughout the world. The one insect you thought might be responsible for spreading such bacteria is actually the one that may end up saving mankind. The detested cockroach.
You may be wondering how a scientist comes up with such an idea in the first place. After all, ground up cockroach brains doesn't really bring to mind high-tech chemical compounds when looking to find a super drug to fight super bacteria. Yet the simplicity of the idea is what is most striking. Just why are cockroaches the hardiest and most resilient living things on the planet? Because they don't get sick. It can't get any purer or simpler than that. Why they don't get sick is still a mystery, but with this new research, it is becoming clear that cockroaches have the ability to will themselves healthy with their brains.
Actually, that isn't true says the Dalai Lama. Cockroaches do not have the capacity to think about their physical condition and therefore they just exist, according to ancient texts.
But back to the research. Did you know that if you forget to type the second "s" in scientists, it becomes scientits? Sorry, the subject matter in this article is making me a bit queasy and a good sidetrack now and then permits me to continue.
The researchers who came up with the idea of studying cockroaches for their antimicrobial properties first thought that since the bugs crawled on every conceivably vile thing on the planet and lived to prove their super-sustainability, there must be some compound in their digestive tracts that allowed them to bypass the highly dangerous "yucky" factor. They (the scientists) were wrong. They found nothing out of the ordinary in the cockroach digestive tract to indicate they were any different than us, i.e. they ate garbage and they pooped garbage. Period.
However, upon grinding up the brains of cockroaches and exposing them to such killer staph bacteria as MRSA and e-coli, it was discovered that the cockroach brain compound destroyed the microbes. It is now known that insects make literally hundreds of antimicrobial compounds that can fight infections.
The research is a long ways off from actually coming up with a marketable antimicrobial drug made from cockroach and other insect brains. In the meantime, next time you get out your can of Raid, think, for one moment, just how important that roach on your counter can be to your future health.