Friday, May 5, 2017

     In an abandoned Montana copper mine, filled with toxic metals and a pH of 2.5, strange life forms have been growing. Extremophiles have colonized the man made lake, called the Berkeley Pit. The University of Montana has been strudying the microorganisms that inhabit the lake. Two fungi species that live in this toxic waste were found to produce a new antibiotic compound.

      This compound shows promise for futher research, being able to kill four MRSA strains, Bacillus anthracis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Candida albicans, and Candida glabrata in preliminary tests. the mode of action is different from other known antibiotics, necessitating further studies. If this compound shows low toxicity in mamals, it could be a promising new drug. There needs to be more research to determine whether this compound could be a new medical tool or a passing footnote.

scientific Article
News Article


  1. Of all places to find a new antibiotic, I am truly amazed that researchers bothered to look here. I just did a quick search on the Berkeley Pit, and supposedly a whole flock of geese died in 2016 by landing there in the effort to avoid a snowstorm. With the increased antibiotic resistance, it's promising to hear that new drugs may be on the way to at least hold us over a bit longer until new ways to combat such microbes are discovered. It's interesting to note that they are effective against MRSA not by the typical mode of action (inhibiting protein synthesis).

  2. this compound could help so many people and further our understand of our environment