Newly discovered chemicals are so deadly to fungi they are named after Keanu Reeves

"Keanumycins," recently identified fungus-killing compounds that are considered so effective by scientists they have been named after actor Keanu Reeves in reference to his "deadly" roles.

(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.
    Keanumycins come from a bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas. The compounds were found to be effective against various plant fungal diseases, as well as human-pathogenic fungi.
    "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.