Medicine from the sea

Tropical waters pose their own hazards. The continuing nemesis of experimenting with sea drugs is supply--getting enough material to test, let alone produce, a drug.

They hauled the specimen bag out of the water and onto a table. We need new drugs. They and their partners discovered a chemical that breaks down the shield that bacteria use to protect themselves from antibiotics. Although unappealing, any one of these containers might harbor a brand-new kick-ass cancer drug or a compound to wipe out some of the scariest viruses known to humankind.

An environment rich in sea life is more likely to yield varied specimens. Denizens of exotic, difficult-to-reach locations, such as deep-sea hot vents and seabed sediments, have hardly been documented. Psoriasis, sunburn, and arthritis all involve inflammation, and one or more of the pseudopterosins might one day be the drug of choice to treat these afflictions.

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Those drugs can be traced to nucleosidic compounds that chemist Werner Bergmann isolated from a Caribbean sponge, Cryptotheca crypta, in the s. What looked like a shark fin had flashed in the water feet off starboard.

Medicine from the Sea

But sinceWright has collected from inside the Johnson-Sea-Link I and II, deep-water submersibles equipped with robotic claws and high-powered vacuums. Now researchers are trying to farm the plant in Wellington Harbor. By the s, the U. They would also use large sterile syringes to collect seawater and thus the microbes inhabiting it.

Fishing boats bobbed everywhere: More than half the organisms in the ocean don't even occur on land. Stews of bugs--fungi and bacteria that once lived in ocean sediments, rotting driftwood, weeds, coral, sponges, and grasses.

In the past, biologists hoping to collect samples from waters as deep as 3, feet could do little more than sink trawl nets and hope for the best, says Amy Wright, an organic chemist at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Automated chemical probes will seek out interesting stretches of genetic material in a batch of seawater or ground-up sponge; then, the thinking goes, gene-copying techniques will enable researchers to produce an abundance of whatever compound the gene is responsible for.

Amid a matrix of varicolored, agglutinated barnacles—their shells opening and closing, working overtime in the air—grew tiny tube worms; strands of telesto coral, branching like miniature caribou antlers; and hydroids, filter-feeding organisms resembling ferns.

Leopard seals, 1,pound predators that devour penguins and other seals, may demonstrate a hungry interest in the divers. What spilled out of the laundry-basket-size bag was mind-boggling. Acrewman tied the spree to the structure with a heavy rope.

And when you look at a graph and you see disease resistance going up and drug discovery going down, it's also downright frightening. But the hunt for drugs from the sea has only recently gone into hight gear above, divers collect organisms from a Gulf of Mexico oil rig. We cast off and met in the cabin to talk strategy.

Dozens have reached clinical trials; a handful may soon be reviewed by the FDA for possible approval. Microbes can be grown in vats if researchers can figure out what to feed them, but other substances can prove more daunting to reproduce.

And when snorkeling, fishing, or scuba diving, be careful to not touch or disrupt coral beds or the sea floor. The search has intensified in landfills, septic tanks, swamps, chemical dumps, and trash piles. Afour-foot-long barracuda cruised in to investigate. In the case of eleutherobin, researchers got lucky.

Recently, a research team led by Rainey that included specialists in mollusks, algae and foraminifera tiny one-celled shell-builders conducted a three-day collecting expedition aboard the spree, a chartered vessel.

Leopard seals, 1,pound predators that devour penguins and other seals, may demonstrate a hungry interest in the divers. Acrewman tied the spree to the structure with a heavy rope.

Rainey had high hopes. He found that compounds from the Bugula demonstrated anticancer properties, and in he isolated a compound he christened bryostatin. Next comes an extract, in this case a fungus dredged from sediments in a swampy coastal mangrove forest.

The team was hoping to find a Bugula source in the Gulf. As a result, perhaps only one or two out of every hundred compounds that reach the preclinical testing stage yields a potential pharmaceutical—after anywhere from 5 to 30 years.

And while the U. It is based on venom from a species of Pacific cone snail, whose poisonous harpoonlike stingers can paralyze and kill fish and humans. Into the seven other rows go increasingly more diluted samples of the same brew. It also can cause cold sweats, headachesand pain.

For centuries, Oriental medicine has recognized that sea vegetables contribute to general well-being and especially to the health of the endocrine and nervous systems. Over the last few decades, medical researchers have discovered a diet that includes sea vegetables reduces the risk of some diseases and helps the body eliminate dangerous toxins.

Nov 20,  · The Importance of Drugs From the Sea.

Smithsonian Ocean

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter who researches natural remedies all over the world, from the Amazon to. The deep-sea sponge, Forcepia species, produces a series of compounds called lasonolides, which exhibit promising biomedical properties for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Continued Medication. If you can’t keep it at bay, there are two kinds of medicine you can take for motion sickness.

Drugs From the Sea

The first is antihistamines, both prescription and are. Chelation with drugs depletes the body of nutrient minerals during detoxification. Modifilan and U-Fn, Fucoidan are safe and natural and enhance the body's natural detoxification of poisoning due to lead, mercury, radiation and other toxins.

Two antiviral drugs already on the market might be said to have been inspired by marine product chemistry: Acyclovir, which treats herpes infections, and AZT, which fights the AIDS virus, HIV.

Medicine from the sea
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