Beneficial Bacterial Product Discovered In Easter Island Soil

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Found to preserve thinking skills, prevent transplant rejection

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 2, 2012) – Scientists have discovered that a bacterial product first isolated from soil on Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, could help prevent diminishing cognitive skills, including memory retention.

Rapamycin is an antifungal agent that has been administered to transplant patients to prevent organ rejection.

However researchers at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have found that older mice fed rapamycin displayed improved learning and memory skills.

According to the researchers, the drug also lowered anxiety and depressive-like behavior in the mice, factors that impair cognitive performance in humans.

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