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From the bottom of the sea to the laboratory: Exploring sea sponges and their use

Rhodes University and University of Plymouth

One Ocean Hub, University of Strathclyde, UK

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  • deep sea,
  • research in oceans,
  • bacteria,
  • health
Target Group
  • Policy makers,
  • Students
  • English
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Hub researchers study the bacteria that lives with marine organisms like sponges and the soft corals at the bottom of the sea.

Published on the 13th October 2021, this video shows that the bottom of the sea has a plethora of undiscovered ingredients vital for medical purposes through work done by researchers in South Africa and England. The rich biodiversity found in the South African bioregions like Algoa Bay, is an opportunity to make new discoveries by collecting and studying the microbes of marine organisms on the ocean floor. In this work, DNA analysis and genetic engineering are used here to identify compounds that could contribute towards anti-cancer and anti-malaria pharmaceutical compounds that can be used for clinical trials.

The video also includes the ongoing work of a PhD research at Plymouth highlighting responding to the rise in bacterial infections that are becoming increasingly difficult to treat, due to the rapid mutating of bacteria and subsequent resistant to antibiotic. This study focuses on deep sea sponges with a view to discover new bacterial species to solve challenges like anti-microbial resistance.