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Shark gut goop no snake oil.

Scientists have discovered a new class of antibiotic -- a type of steroid --in the stomach of the dogfish shark. Called squalamine, this steroid resembles plant compounds now used to kill intestinal parasites. In laboratory tests, it works against fungi, protozoa, and both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, says Karen S. Moore of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

This antibiotic destroys bacteria as effectively as ampicillin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, Moore and her colleagues report in the Feb. 15 PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES. In squalamine, a bile salt links with asteroid to work better than either of those compounds alone, say the researchers, who have now made the chemical in the lab.
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Title Annotation:steroid found in dogfish shark is an effective antibiotic
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 27, 1993
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