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(CNN)It's not every day that effective fungus-killing compounds are discovered, so researchers in Germany knew their recent find needed a special name. Identifying and testing three natural compounds that proved lethal to fungi, they were so impressed they've named the chemicals after actor Keanu Reeves, a nod to how he eliminates villains in movies such as "John Wick" and "The Matrix."
The potential treatment for fungi comes at a time when the organisms are becoming more and more resistant to known antifungals, according to study coauthor Sebastian Götze, a researcher with Germany's Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology. Not only are the newly named microbes effective against plants, researchers found the compounds — molecules commonly found in bacteria called lipopeptides — also to be an effective treatment against human fungal infections.
The study was published recently in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
"The lipopeptides kill so efficiently that we named them after Keanu Reeves because he, too, is extremely deadly in his roles," Götze said in a statement.