A former State College of Florida student has discovered a unique organism in the mangroves of Anna Maria Island.
22-year-old Bradenton native Stephanie Morgan discovered Pink while attending a class at SCF called Small World Initiative Microbiology, a pilot program through Yale University, which she says basically outsources antibiotic discovery.
"The idea is that students would go and collect soil samples and screen soil samples for antibiotic production,"Morgan said. "I went to Leffis Key to get some soil samples... I chose Leffis Key specifically because I wanted a marine environment, and the mangroves seemed to have a diverse array of different organisms."
Of the different organisms discovered, she said the most novel of them is Pink, which is a bacterial organism identified under the genus vibrio.
And the hope is that Pink will produce an antibiotic, or antibiotics, that bacteria are not resistant to.
"If I get to name it," she said, "it's probably going to be my last name. I've been told if you get to name something in your lifetime you can name it with your last name."
Morgan's discovery has been entered into the National Institute of Health Database Gen Bank.
In June, Morgan will travel to Boston because her abstract on Pink has been accepted, and she will present her findings at the American Society for Microbiology.