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Platypus 'miracle milk' may offer 'superbug' treatment

Australian research raises hope of breakthrough in fight against infections

Australian scientists are investigating the medicinal properties of milk from the platypus, an egg-laying mammal found only in parts of Australia. (Courtesy of CSIRO)

SYDNEY -- Australia's platypus is an animal so strange it would not be out of place in a "Star Wars" cantina -- an egg-laying mammal with the bill of a duck, the tail of a beaver and a unique way of nurturing its young by excreting milk through its belly like sweat.

Australian scientists believe this primitive lactation method, where a newly hatched platypus must lick milk directly from its teat-less mother's belly, delivers a "miracle milk" with high levels of nutrition and immune protection.

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