Fly Spit Helps Heal

A husband and wife team of researchers, Ed and Mary Cupp, at the Auburn University Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station have found a protein in the saliva of blood-sucking black flies that helps heal surgical wounds. The protein increases the blood flow in the victim's skin when the fly bites an animal.

A solution of the protein and antibiotics helped heal surgical wounds faster than a solution of antibiotics alone in both animals and humans. The protein may also help speed up the healing of chronic wounds like skin ulcers and diabetic foot lesions. A patent has been obtained for the protein, and the product is being marketed to industry. Any products resulting from the technology will then have to pay royalties to Auburn University.
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