New Keanu Reeves Molecule Stops The Last Of Us From Happening In Real Life?

Scientists have named a new discovery the Keanu Reeves molecule because of how it kills fungi and pathogens.

By Jessica Scott | Published

keanu reeves molecule

If the idea of a fungus that can turn people into zombies in The Last of Us scares you, then you will be terrified to learn that real-life fungi can cause diseases too. But not to worry, the Keanu Reeves molecule is here to save us. Yes, really. According to IFL Science, scientists have discovered a molecule that is so efficient at killing pathogens that they named it after the man who played John Wick, the most iconic assassin on film.

According to the article, Sebastian Götze of the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology explains that “We have a crisis in anti-infectives. Many human-pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antimycotics – partly because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields.”

This increase in antimicrobial resistance means that it is imperative that researchers find a new way to combat it: and they found it in the Keanu Reeves molecule.

Keanu Reeves molecules, known scientifically as keanumycins, are a natural product produced by Pseudomonas bacteria. They have special antimicrobial properties, which means that they are effective in fighting off disease-causing fungi.

Scientists had been working with the Pseudomonas for quite some time before the Keanu Reeves molecule was discovered. They were attempting to discover what it was about the bacteria that made it toxic to Dictyostelium discoideum, a type of amoeba, and were able to isolate a group of lipopeptides, which turned out to be some pretty nasty killers.

The researchers theorized that, since amoebae share some similarities with fungi, it was possible that the Keanu Reeves molecule would also be able to carry out a hit on some fungi too. They confirmed this suspicion by introducing a fluid with keanumycin to gray mold rot on a plant’s leaves. Just like John Wick, the keanumycin got the job done.

Now you might be thinking: “Okay, that’s pretty cool. Sounds like a badass molecule. But what’s the point?” The point is, aside from being named after one of the world’s most beloved actors, Keanu Reeves molecules could actually make a huge difference in the future of farming.

“Theoretically, the keanumycin-containing supernatant from Pseudomonas cultures could be used directly for plants,” Götze said, meaning that they could potentially be used in place of chemical pesticides and fungicides.

The Keanu Reeves molecule would also be much better for the environment than chemical pesticides, as it is a natural, biodegradable substance. So, plants would be safe from the fungus that would harm them without the use of any other substance that may harm them in other ways.

But the Keanu Reeves molecule, like the man himself, is no one-trick pony. Götze and his colleagues also began testing the keanumycin against fungi that infect human beings (which actually does happen in real life, not just in The Last of Us), and found that it “strongly inhibits the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans, among others.” 

Candida albicans may not sound familiar to you, but you may know the infection it causes by another name: thrush. This common affliction usually affects the throat, mouth, or genital region, and can sometimes lead to death in patients with compromised immune systems.

Fungal infections like Candida albicans cause more than a million deaths every year, in part due to the fact that, before the Keanu Reeves molecule, there were very few drugs to fight fungi.

What makes this discovery even more of a scientific breakthrough is that the Keanu Reeves molecule is effective even at very low levels, without being a danger to human cells. So, it is potentially a much safer way to cure an infection. 

All in all, it seems like John Wick is about to save the day again. Maybe researchers should try telling the Keanu Reeves molecules that the fungi killed their dog so they’ll be even more ready to fight!