Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ancient Brew Masters Tapped Antibiotic Secrets

More evidence that beer is good for you.

A chemical analysis of the bones of ancient Nubians shows that they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that the art of making antibiotics, which officially dates to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, was common practice nearly 2,000 years ago.

"We tend to associate drugs that cure diseases with modern medicine," Armelagos says. "But it's becoming increasingly clear that this prehistoric population was using empirical evidence to develop therapeutic agents. I have no doubt that they knew what they were doing."

It's interesting that modern pharmaceutical companies use genetically-engineered Saccharomyces yeast to produce their drugs.

Read the whole story at ScienceDaily.

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