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October 12, 2005

Seaweed from Fiji Yields New Molecular Structures with Pharmaceutical Potential

Topics: Medicine

fiji-discovery3_sm.jpegResearchers have discovered 10 new molecular structures with pharmaceutical potential in a species of red seaweed that lives in the shallow coral reef along the coastline of Fiji in the south Pacific Ocean. They appear to have interesting molecular structures regarding the way that the carbon atoms are attached, and represent an entirely new category of organic molecules.

Some of the natural compounds showed the potential to kill cancer cells, bacteria and the HIV virus, according to research at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Two of the compounds exhibit anti-bacterial activity towards antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus at concentrations worthy of further study. Researchers have yet to determine if the concentrations of the compounds required to kill the bacterium would be harmful to humans.

Researchers report that the compound that was isolated in the greatest abundance - named bromophycolide A (by the researchers) - killed human tumor cells by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis), a mechanism that is promising for development of new anti-cancer drugs.

Previous work on seaweeds in Fiji

Posted by Richard at October 12, 2005 11:26 PM

that's toooo cooool

Posted by: stormy at October 13, 2005 12:42 AM

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