The business in prehistoric spores

Looking beyond last week's provocative and widely publicized report in Science of the isolation and revival in culture of bacterial spores from the stomachs of bees trapped in amber 25 to 40 million years ago, Ambergene Corp. is hoping to discover new classes of antibiotic compounds from the metabolically active bacteria and yeast.

The bacteria, Bacillus sphaericus, live in soil and in insects. Raul Cano, the San Carlos, Calif., company's founder and a researcher at California State Polytechnic University