Welcome to FIS   Sponsored By
United States
Subscribe to FIS | Register with FIS | Advertise with FIS | Newsletter | About FIS | Contact us
   


Genetically modified fungi can produce pharmaceuticals from chitin. (Photo: TU Vienna, CC, Hans Hillewaert)

Scientists use crab shells to produce pharmaceuticals

Click on the flag for more information about Austria AUSTRIA
Thursday, February 16, 2012, 00:50 (GMT + 9)

Scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have introduced bacterial genes into a fungus so it can produce chemicals useful to the pharmaceutical industry.

The fungus in question is Trichoderma and it uses chitin, a raw material which makes up the shells of crustaceans, including crabs, that is generally abundant in nature.

Viral infections are usually treated with antiviral drugs, which are often made from N-Acetylneuraminic acid (NANA), a substance fifty times more valuable than gold sold for around EUR 2,000 per g. NANA can be obtained from natural sources or synthesized.

Biochemical Labs of the Institute for Chemical Engineering. (Photo: TU Wien)

Biotechnologist Astrid Mach-Aigner led a research team at Vienna UT that has discovered a new and environmentally friendly way to produce NANA.

The team realized that it could use the university's accumulated knowhow about the genetics of the fungus Trichoderma –- which is found in soil, meadows and trees -- to make progress.

"We knew that Trichoderma can degrade chitin -– that's what the fungus naturally does in soil", said Mach-Aigner.

The researchers decided that Trichoderma was therefore a viable candidate for the project.
 
For the fungus to produce NANA, the team injected bacterial genes into the fungus's genome.

"Usually, Trichoderma breaks down chitin to monomer amino sugars", noted Mach-Aigner.

The scientists were able to make possible two extra reaction steps as a result of the genes and allow for the production of the desired pharmaceutical, N-Acetylneuraminic acid.

That the scientists can use chitin for this purpose is very convenient because chitin is the second-most plentiful biopolymer on earth, available in the carapaces of crustaceans, in the shells of insects, snails and cephalopods and in the cell walls of fungi. As it is estimated that in the sea alone 10 billion tonnes of chitin are created every year, the substance is a tremendously sustainable resource for chemical synthesis.

The newly developed Trichoderma line can now be made in bioreactors and produces the acid NANA from chitin. The university has patented the process, which will be employed for the cheap and eco-friendly production of pharmaceuticals on an industrial scale in the near future.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


 Print


Click to know how to advertise in FIS
MORE NEWS
Spain
Jul 28, 03:10 (GMT + 9):
Jealsa has an eye on Brazil
United Kingdom
Jul 28, 02:40 (GMT + 9):
Shetland Catch records profit surge but turnover drop
Netherlands
Jul 28, 01:40 (GMT + 9):
ASC products becoming popular in Netherlands, Germany
Brazil
Jul 28, 00:50 (GMT + 9):
Cooperation agreement on fisheries-aquaculture sanitary extended
Mozambique
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - French-Mozambican company expands clam farming in Nacala, northern Mozambique
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Season Winds Down for Aleutian Herring Fleet
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Oyster harvesters see unloading fees increase at some Peninsula docks
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - After surviving a year of wild weather, nearly 30,000 oysters are moving out of the Inner Harbor
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - NASA funds study of changing climate, land use on Chesapeake and Delaware Bays
Japan
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Feces, poison found on Vietnam shishamo fish
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Louisiana shrimpers' catch is up in June compared to previous years
United States
Jul 26, 04:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Gulf shrimping season off to a 'good' start
United States
Jul 26, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Starboard sues Darden over records of Red Lobster sale
Iceland
Jul 26, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Icelandic Fisheries Minister: Quotas ‘based on science’
European Union
Jul 26, 01:40 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Commission welcomes Council's agreement to improve how seas and coastal areas are used



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
Relevant funding granted to the Scottish fishing sector
United Kingdom Scottish Inshore Fisheries Groups are to be allocated funding for research projects designed to improve and maintain their sustainable management measures.
Breakthrough in fighting EMS
Japan The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have announced a breakthrough in the fight against early mortality syndrome.
More viable lobster licence reduction plan to be implemented
Canada Fisheries and Oceans Canada developed a new plan to allow Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia fishermen to hold more than one lobster licence and reduce the number of traps in the water.
Curaçao, Ghana and Korea given more time to take steps against illegal fishing
European Union The EC has given Curaçao, Ghana and Korea an extra six months to improve their efforts to fight illegal fishing, after they had been warned in November that they were not doing enough.
 
Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Nichirei Corporation -Headquarter-
Pesquera El Golfo S.A.
Ventisqueros - Productos del Mar Ventisqueros S.A
Wärtsilä Corporation -Wartsila Group Headquarter-
ITOCHU Corporation -Headquarter-
BAADER - Nordischer Maschinenbau Rud. Baader GmbH (Head Office)
Inmarsat plc - Global Headquarters
Marks & Spencer
Tesco PLC (Supermarket) - Headquarters
Pescanova, S.A. - Group Headquarters
Sea Harvest Corporation (PTY) Ltd.
I&J - Irvin & Johnson Limited
Blue Continent Products (Pty) Ltd - (Oceana Group Limited)
Pesquera San Jose S.A.
Nutreco N.V. - Head Office
CNFC China National Fisheries Corporation - Group Headquarters
W. van der Zwan & Zn. B.V.
SMMI - Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Co., Ltd. - Headquarters
Icicle Seafoods Inc. -Headquarter-
Starkist Seafood Co. - Headquearters
Trident Seafoods Corp.
American Seafoods Group LLC - Head Office
Marel ehf - Group Headquarters
SalMar ASA - Group Headquarters
Sajo Industries Co., Ltd
Hansung Enterprise Co.,Ltd.
BIM - Irish Sea Fisheries Board (An Bord Iascaigh Mhara)
CEFAS - Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science
COPEINCA ASA - Corporacion Pesquera Inca S.A.C.
Chun Cheng Fishery Enterprise Pte Ltd.
Food Project (Siam) Co., Ltd.
VASEP - Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers
Gomes da Costa
Furuno Electric Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
NISSUI - Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd. - Group Headquarters
FAO -Food and Agriculture Organization- Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (Headquarter)
Hagoromo Foods Co., Ltd.
Koden Electronics Co., Ltd. (Headquarters)
A.P. Møller - Maersk A/S - Headquarters
BVQI - Bureau Veritas Quality International (Head Office)
UPS - United Parcel Service, Inc. - Headquarters
Hamburg Süd Group - (Headquearters)
Armadora Pereira S.A. - Group Headquarters
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Headquarters)
Omega Protein Corporation -Headquarter-
Grupo Calvo - Luis Calvo Sanz, S.A. (Group Headquarter)
Marona S.A.
Marine Harvest ASA - Headquarters
Marubeni Europe Plc -UK-
Findus Ltd
Icom Inc. (Headquarter)
WWF Centroamerica
Oceana Group Limited
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. -Headquarter-
Friosur S.A. - Headquarters
Cargill, Incorporated - Global Headquarters
Benihana Inc.
Leardini Pescados Ltda
Mitsubishi Corporation Marine Products Depts. D.Team
CJ Corporation  -Holding Headquarter-
Greenpeace International - The Netherlands
David Suzuki Foundation
Fisheries and Oceans Canada -Communications Branch-
Mitsui & Co.,Ltd - Headquarters
Ocean Trawlers Group - Ocean Trawlers HK Ltd.
Natori Co., Ltd.
Carrefour Supermarket - Headquarters
FedEx Corporation -Headquarter-
AKBM - Aker BioMarine ASA
Seafood Choices Alliance -Headquarter-
Austevoll Seafood ASA
Walmart / Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Supermarket) -Headquarter-
New Japan Radio Co.Ltd (JRC) -Head Office-
Gulfstream JSC
INVE Group - Head Office
Marine Stewardship Council  - MSC Worldwide
Royal Dutch Shell plc (Headquarter)
Genki Sushi Co.,Ltd -Headquarter-
Iceland Pelagic ehf
AXA Assistance Argentina S.A.
Caterpillar Inc. - Headquarters
Tiger Brands Limited
Morpol ASA - Group Headquarters
SeaChoice
National Geographic Society
AmazonFresh, LLC - AmazonFresh

Copyright 1995 - 2014 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER