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Scientists name bacterial fungicide after Keanu Reeves because it is deadly like his characters

The fungicide is named after Reeves, as the actor is famous for eliminating villains in movies such as “John Wick” and “The Matrix.”

Scientists name bacterial fungicide after Keanu Reeves because it is deadly like his characters
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Kevin Winter

The field of science makes new discoveries every now and then. However, some are more unique than others. While talking about such discovery, Leibniz Institute in Germany has created a new fungicide that has been discovered and named after the actor Keanu Reeves. This fungicide is composed of three compounds known as keanumycins A, B and C and they are highly effective in killing fungi that affect both plants and humans. As per Newsbreak, the fungicide is named after Reeves, as the actor is famous for eliminating villains in movies such as “John Wick” and “The Matrix.”

TORONTO, ONTARIO - DECEMBER 16: Actor Keanu Reeves attends the Canadian Premiere of
(Photo by Sam Santos/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictures Canada)

 

As for the actor himself, a Reddit user asked him how he felt that they named a bacteria after him. Reeves responded, “They should’ve called it John Wick . . . but that’s pretty cool . . . and surreal for me. But thanks, scientist people! Good luck, and thank you for helping us."

Image Source: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown
Image Source: Getty Images/Frederick M. Brown

 

The potential bacterial treatment of fungi is an essential intervention at a time when the organisms are becoming more and more resistant to known antifungals, according to study co-author Sebastian Götze, a researcher with Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology. The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.



 

 

“The lipopeptides kill so efficiently that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he, too, is extremely deadly in his roles,” Götze said in a statement. “We have a crisis in anti-infectives. Many human-pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antimycotics (antifungals) — partly because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields.” The newly discovered antimicrobial compounds are called keanumycins and they are a natural byproduct of the bacteria Pseudomonas, typically found in soil and water. Researchers came across the compounds while studying Pseudomonas for their effectiveness against predatory amoebas, reported CNN

Getty Images | Ted Horowitz
Getty Images | Ted Horowitz

 

Scientists have known for a long time that “many of these bacterial species (Pseudomonas) are very toxic to amoebae, which feed on bacteria,” said lead study author Pierre Stallforth, head of the department of Paleobiotechnology at the Leibniz Institute, in a statement. Therefore, Stallforth and his fellow researchers wanted to explore the bacteria’s effectiveness against fungi, which have a cell structure similar to amoebas, according to the study.

They found that the compounds were extremely effective in killing amoebas and fungi, making them a promising candidate for use in agriculture and medicine. The keanumycins were found to be most effective in killing Botrytis cinerea, a fungus known to ruin crops such as strawberries. However, the use of chemical fungicides can have harmful effects on the environment and human health. Thus, the keanumycins are a biodegradable option that would not leave chemicals in the soil or on fruit, making them a promising alternative, reported Newsbreak.

Other than their potential use in agriculture, keanumycins are also effective in treating human-pathogenic fungi responsible for yeast infections. The study noted that many human-pathogenic fungi are becoming almost immune to anti-fungal treatments because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields. It has led to a crisis in anti-infectives, which the keanumycins could potentially help to solve. Keanumycins are also non-toxic to humans, which makes them a promising candidate for use in medicine as a form of effective treatment.

The naming of keanumycins after the actor is part of a larger trend where scientific discoveries are being named after celebrities. It is an interesting blend of science and pop culture, no doubt.

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