Killer bacteria named after Keanu Reeves

Scientists in Germany have discovered a new weapon in the fight against fungus and have named it after Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves, per

According to the outlet, the bacteria, dubbed “Keanumycins,” produces a powerful compound that efficiently eliminates harmful fungi. Researchers at the Bio Pilot Plant, referencing Reeves’ iconic on-screen personas, decided the name perfectly captured the lethality of the discovery.

Published in the Journal of American Chemical Society, the study details the effectiveness of Keanumycins against various fungal diseases. Lead author, Sebastian Götze, explained the inspiration behind the name: “The efficiency with which these lipopeptides kill fungus is truly remarkable. Just like Keanu Reeves’ characters in his movies, they are extremely effective.”

Reeves himself recently addressed the unique honour during a Reddit AMA. While expressing his appreciation for the scientists’ work, he jokingly remarked, “They should’ve called it John Wick… but that’s pretty cool… and surreal for me.”

Keanu Reeves

Beyond the name’s pop-culture reference, Keanumycins hold significant promise for the medical field. Early tests show the compound effectively combats various fungal threats, including Botrytis cinerea, a plant disease, and Candida albicans, a fungus responsible for human infections.

Keanumycins appear non-toxic to human cells at low concentrations. This paves the way for the development of new antifungal medications, a much-needed advancement in the fight against drug-resistant fungal strains.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date