Hollywood star Keanu Reeves has newly-found fungus-killing compound named after him

18 February 2023, 18:27 | Updated: 18 February 2023, 18:31

Keanu Reeves speaks onstage during "Collider": Directors on Directing Panel at Comic-Con at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California.
Keanu Reeves speaks onstage during "Collider": Directors on Directing Panel at Comic-Con at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California. Picture: Getty

By Chris Samuel

Researchers have named a fungus-killing compound after Keanu Reeves because it's "extremely deadly", like the characters the actor has portrayed in classic action films.

According to the scientists who discovered the molecule, the new discovery has been named keanumycins because of its ability to destroy fungi as effortlessly as the action heroes the actor has played in thrillers like John Wick and Speed, The Telegraph reported.

Researchers at the Germany's Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (Leibniz-HKI) made the discovery that a certain type of bacteria creates a strong antimicrobial chemical.

Sebastian Götze, a postdoctoral researcher at Leibniz-HKI at the institute said: "The lipopeptides kill so efficiently that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he, too, is extremely deadly in his roles."

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It's thought the compound could be used to offer crops protection from pests that cause rot.

Keanu Reeves speaks onstage during "Collider": Directors on Directing Panel at Comic-Con at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California.
Keanu Reeves speaks onstage during "Collider": Directors on Directing Panel at Comic-Con at San Diego Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in San Diego, California. Picture: Getty

The discovery could pave the way for an environmentally friendly alternative to the use of chemical fungicides in agriculture, which have given rise to resistant fungi.

Keanu Reeves has appeared in a number of action blockbusters, including the John Wick francise.
Keanu Reeves has appeared in a number of action blockbusters, including the John Wick francise. Picture: Alamy

"We have a crisis in anti-infectives," said Mr Götze. "Many human-pathogenic fungi are now resistant to antimycotics [fungicides] partly because they are used in large quantities in agricultural fields."

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