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Viruses lurking in giraffe and lemur poop could lead to new antibacterial drugs, scientists say



Viruses scooped from the poop of giraffes, lemurs and long-whiskered mammals called binturongs could be useful for killing drug-resistant bacteria and preventing further antibiotic resistance, scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield in England have been hunting for bacteria-infecting viruses, known as bacteriophages, in animal feces from Yorkshire Wildlife Park, a wildlife conservation and rehabilitation center in Branton, England. The park houses about 475 animals representing more than 60 species, giving the scientists opportunities to search for bacteriophages — called “phages,” for short — in a variety of exotic excrement.

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