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article imageMouth of a shark holds clues for treating shark bites

By Tim Sandle     Feb 2, 2013 in Science
A research team are studying the bacteria found in the mouths of sharks in order to develop better medical treatment methods for shark bite victims.
Scientists are studying bacteria found in the mouths of sharks to see if the microbial population offer clues for treatments of shark bites. The sharks being examined are those caught during The Blacktip Challenge, a 72-hour South Florida fishing tournament to fish blacktip sharks from the beach. The tournament began on January 30 and continues until to February 3.
The video below is a preview of 2012 The Blacktip Challenge:
The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) s common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world.
The shark challenge is controversial because the balcktip shark has been assessed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on the basis of its low reproductive rate and high value to fishers. It is debatable whether the additional scientific research will offset the loss of sharks.
Nonetheless, data is currently being gathered by the research team from some of the sharks that have been captured and killed. However, no results are available yet. Whether the research will yield anything meaningful is as yet unknown. However, there is the potential for new drugs to be developed to help those who have been bitten by sharks in order to fight infections..
The research is being conducted at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Nathan Unger, Pharm.D., an assistant professor at NSU's College of Pharmacy and the lead researcher on the project is quoted as saying: "We are excited to gather scientific data from these incredible animals in order to learn more about the infecting bacteria from their bites and how to treat victims."
If any concrete findings emerge from the study, these will be reported on the Digital Journal.
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