I’m not sure how real this is, but the possibility is mind-bending: New Scientist reported yesterday that an ancient super-powerful antibiotic was reverse-engineered from current-day proteins. GenomeWeb states the achievement quite succinctly:
The researchers then worked backwards to find the genetic sequence of the original peptide — active 59 million years ago — and produced a synthetic version, effectively “resurrecting” the ancient peptide.
And apparently, these retro-proteins are 10-30x more effective than current-day antibiotics. I find it a bit unsatisfying that prehistoric molecules are orders of magnitude more effective than our best medicines today, but hey, I have the same attitude about modern pop music.