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Chemical compounds in trees can fight deadly staph infections in humans
Date:2/22/2011

s Center, identified, isolated and tested 17 bioactive compounds and has plans to analyze more compounds. Scientists found that a relatively small concentration of a chemical compound found in the Eastern Red Cedar 5 micrograms per milliliter was effective against MRSA. The team tested the compound's effectiveness against many versions of MRSA in a test tube with promising initial results.

"We found this chemical from the cedar needles, an abundant and renewable resource that can be collected annually," co-researcher Brian Thompson said. "Because the compound is in the needles, we don't have to cut down the trees."

In addition to its potential use in fighting MRSA, researchers found that some chemical compounds in the tree are able to fight and kill skin cancer cells present in mice. It may also be effective as a topical acne treatment. Stewart said the compounds are years away from commercial use, as they must go through clinical trials. The team's research was presented recently at the International Conference on Gram-Positive Pathogens.


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Contact: Christian Basi
BasiC@missouri.edu
573-882-4430
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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