Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Endangered Legend" - Artschtick

TITLE: Endangered Legend
ARTIST: Deb Keirce
EBAY ID: Artshtick

Why I’m using my creativity to save the rainforest …

In a former life, I was a biochemical engineer, helping to bring manufacturing processes to life, to create newly discovered or synthesized pharmaceuticals. A very scary fact is that we are fresh out of ways to develop new antibiotics. This is scary because bacteria are NOT out of ways to mutate, and become immune to the antibiotics we can produce. Vancomycin is our last resort antibiotic - when bacteria are immune to all the others. Vancomycin resistant strains of common bacteria are on the rise. Patients who harbor vanco-resistant infections cannot be imprisoned in hospitals, so when they are feeling better, they are out and about in the general population, and those bacterial strains are going global.

What does all this have to do with the rainforest? There are a few undiscovered places we have access to, that may hold the key to finding new pharmaceuticals, and the rain forest is key to those discoveries. The oceans and space would be the other two. Anything we do to destroy the rainforest is potentially destroying products that could be discovered and developed to reduce human suffering in the future. It takes a lot of money and manpower to launch research programs in a rainforest. Some pharmaceutical companies have started the effort, but it will be generations before they will recover their research expenses, so we need those rainforests around for a VERY long time!