German scientists named new bacteria after Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves said having a bacteria named after him was “cool” and “surreal.”
From the action-packed John Wick to The Matrix’s Neo, Keanu Reeves has taken on a variety of captivating roles. However, his most impressive feat yet might just be… bacteria! German scientists recently uncovered an exceptional fungus-fighting substance with such power they chose to christen it “keanumycins” in honor of this iconic actor.
“The lipopeptides kill so efficiently that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he, too, is extremely deadly in his roles,” study co-author Sebastian Götze, a researcher with Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology, said in a statement.
During an engaging Q&A session on Reddit, 58 year-old Reeves was asked a question about the fungus Keanu.
“[Researchers] from Germany found a compound naturally produced by some type of [bacteria] that is so effective at killing fungi, they named it after you: keanumycins. What are your thoughts about that?” a user asked.
Expressing his appreciation for the scientists, he said it was “cool” and “surreal.”
“They should’ve called it John Wick . . . but that’s pretty cool . . . and surreal for me. But thanks, scientist people! Good luck, and thank you for helping us,” Reeves wrote in response via the Lionsgate Reddit account.
Last month, an exciting discovery was made – keanumycins were found to successfully combat both plant-fungal diseases and human-pathogenic fungi.
Recent research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society suggests that molecules found in bacteria, known as lipopeptides, provide a greener alternative to chemical pesticides. What’s more, keanumycins are not only biodegradable and kinder on our environment; they’re also harmless to plants!
To test the efficacy of Keanu bacteria, researchers exposed a hydrangea affected by Botrytis cinerea — an insidious plant pest responsible for gray mold rot which frequently plagues fruits and vegatable crops and can lead to significant agricultural losses.
The research revealed that the bacteria were adversely impacted by the mold rot, dramatically limiting its growth of fungus.
Extracting promising results, they tested the compound on human-threatening fungi such as Candida albicans. They were delighted to find that it not only inhibited the fungus but also proved safe for humans.
“We have a crisis in anti-infectives. … Many human-pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antimycotics (antifungals) — partly because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields,” Götze said.
In recent months, the HBO series “The Last of Us” has thrust fungal infections into pop culture limelight – and although they can be challenging to treat, it is not an unachievable task.
The Keanu Reeves-namesake bacteria are “good lead structure candidates for the development of antifungal drugs.”
This could potentially be a new candidate for antifungals, which are sought after due to the lack of drugs available for fungal infections.
To gain a more comprehensive understanding of keanumycins, the researchers will continue to perform experiments.