Published July 18th, 2017 by Stephanie
The idea of drugs and medications came about when humans first discovered that strange things would happen when we ate certain plants and animals. Aspirin originally came from boiled willow bark, and hard drinks appeared because a fungus we call yeast would eat plant sugars and create alcohol as a byproduct. Penicillin was discovered when Alexander Fleming noticed that a certain kind of fungus loved to eat bacteria.
Plants in general and fungus, in particular, produce a lot of natural compounds that could be useful to medical science, but we haven’t been exploring what molds can do lately. Instead, labs run computer simulations on thousands of synthetic compounds and guess at which ones would be worth creating and trying out.
The reason molds are worth investigating is because any chemicals they use have already gone through a process of natural selection and proven themselves useful. Humans may or may not have a use for these molecules, but we can be sure they do something interesting.
That’s why the biotech company Intact Genomics has partnered with Northwestern University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create a new analyzer that investigates unique molecules in mold colonies as well as the genes that create them. This lets medical researchers skip that first step of computer guesswork and suggests how to synthesize them in the process. Instead of searching through thousands of compounds that might do something, researchers can investigate thousands of compounds that definitely do something and might be helpful.
And when these mold-based drugs reach the pharmacy, you can get a discount on them when you bring your USA Rx pharmacy discount card. Signing up for our card is free, and it lets you get up to 75 percent discounts on all prescription drugs sold at over 60,000 pharmacies throughout the United States. And if you can get a better price through your insurance, you can use that instead. To find out more, you can call our toll-free number at 888-277-3911 or send an email to [email protected]