Fighting Anthrax with the Ocean has a new piece out discussing the hitherto unknown capacity of one species of Streptomyces to effective counter infections caused by Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria which produces anthrax spores. The molecule, appropriately named  anthracimycin, is equally effective in fighting other Gram-positive bacteria. Read more here.

Excerpt: “By using a variety of methods of analysis, the researchers were able to determine the structure of this molecule, which they named anthracimycin. Anthracimycin contains an unusual system of rings, one with fourteen carbon atoms and two with six each. This is a macrolide whose biosynthesis very likely occurs by the polyketide pathway. X-ray crystallographic studies allowed the researchers to determine the absolute configurations of the seven asymmetric carbon centers in this compound, identifying the complete 3-dimensional structure.”

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