A high school student in the US has discovered a protein in yoghurt that has the potential to fight E.coli, the leading cause of diarrhoea in the world.
The yet to be named protein was discovered by 16-year-old Serena Fasano, a junior at Glenelg High School, after three years of research at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine. Her father is director of the Mucosal Biology Research Center.
Fasano has been awarded a patent for the protein, although it is officially owned by the University of Maryland, reported the online edition of Baltimore Sun.
The student happened to notice an unusual ingredient lactobacillus in yoghurt. She obtained - through her father - specimens of E.coli 042, added varying amounts of yoghurt to it and chronicled the results.
The dish with the most yoghurt had the least E. coli, so Fasano was able to say that yoghurt kills E.coli, which kills six million people annually in the world, mostly children in Third World nations.