Mud from deepest place on Earth could hold key to cures

August 3rd, 2010 - 3:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 3 (ANI): In a bid to search for new drug discoveries, researchers are using one of the world’s most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples recovered from the deepest place on Earth - the Mariana Trench.

The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving drugs by harnessing the potential of marine organisms, according to the study involving scientists at IBM Research in Zurich and Aberdeen University.

Aberdeen University’s Marine Biodiscovery Centre was established to explore the use of ocean resources in treating diseases from cancer to bacterial infections, reports the Scotsman.

Since last year its researchers have been investigating a bacterium taken from a mud sample from the trench, almost seven miles below the surface of the Pacific.

The pressure-tolerant bacterium, Dermacoccus abyssi, produced a mystery chemical compound that has now been identified using a scanning technique developed by IBM Research in Switzerland.

Professor Marcel Jaspars, director of the discovery centre, said the collaboration could open new possibilities in drug discovery and treatments. (ANI)

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