Here’s a very interesting (and short) article I ran across:
GatorAIDS: Why Isn’t It in You? | Discoblog | Discover Magazine
This isn’t the first I have heard of this, but it’s a nice short summary. In essence, Alligators have the most amazing immune systems. They are tolerant to all kinds of filthy bacteria-filled water, and they rarely get infections due to cuts, scrapes, or even limbs ripped off in a fight. This is pretty powerful stuff, and we should be researching this in earnest. Apparently, the problem is how to “dilute” these anti-bacterial agents so that they won’t kill a less sturdy host (like us). If we can figure out how to do that, we’d have a whole new range of antibiotics. Or, as some have said, even better would be to figure out how to amp up our protection systems to that level. This would probably be very helpful for AIDS and other immune-deficient human problems. Why do we not hear more about this? Are drug companies scared of eroding their profits?