Fishing for antibiotics

Ten new natural products from a seaweed found in the waters off Fiji offer new hope in the fight against disease. Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology have demonstrated that these diterpene benzoates have activity against cancer cells, bacteria, and HIV. Indeed, two of them are effective against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus at usefully low concentrations. Julia Kubanek and colleagues explain that the work is only at the "test-tube level" so far, however, although pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb is working with the team on the anticancer potential of several of the compounds.