Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ancients Made Beer Medicine

The American Journal of Physical Anthropology reports that the antibiotic tetracycline was found in bones of a Nubian mummy buried 1,600 years ago in Sudan — long before scientists discovered tetracycline, in 1948.

But so what?

Nubians were skilled brewers. A bacterium, Streptomyces, secrets Tetracycline. So researchers believe that Nubians purposely made medicinal beer by using grain contaminated with antibiotic-producing Streptomyces bacteria.

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