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
United Kingdom
Jun 25, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - SFF comment on referendum vote to leave the EU
United States
Jun 25, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Personal care products cause damage to Coral Reefs
European Union
Jun 25, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - WWF: Brexit brings risks for UK environment and leaves EU weaker
Viet Nam
Jun 25, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Facility allegedly responsible for farm-raised fish deaths in southern Vietnam
United States
Jun 25, 05:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Renowned Marine Biologist Asha de Vos Joins Oceana
India
Jun 25, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Illegal fishing, land grabbing by outsiders add to Tamil fishermen's woes
Myanmar
Jun 25, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fish farming rules needed to protect biodiversity
Canada
Jun 25, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - LeBlanc: LIFO northern shrimp decision coming soon
Netherlands
Jun 25, 02:30 (GMT + 9):
First ambitious ocean-cleansing project presented
Spain
Jun 25, 02:20 (GMT + 9):
Grant regulation approved for market development and seafood promotion campaigns
United Kingdom
Jun 25, 01:20 (GMT + 9):
Brexit victory causes bitter-sweet reactions
European Union
Jun 24, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
EP adopts Baltic pluriannual fisheries plan
Chile
Jun 24, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Electronic certification for salmon exports to Russia enters final stage
United States
Jun 24, 23:40 (GMT + 9):
Shellfish contagious cancer spread discovered
Australia
Jun 24, 22:40 (GMT + 9):
MSC certifies first recreational and commercial fishery worldwide



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
First ambitious ocean-cleansing project presented
Netherlands At a port in The Hague, Dutch environment minister has launched the biggest prototype clean-up boom in an attempt to clear the Pacific of its plastic debris.
American authorities demand the EU to continue importing their lobsters
United States Maine politicians are calling for the EU to deny a request from the Swedish government to have American lobster listed as invasive.
Good shrimp landings in May but with low prices
United States The latest statistics on shrimp landings in the Gulf of Mexico published by NOAA indicate that in May 10.3 million pounds of the crustacean were landed, 26.9 per cent below the prior fourteen-year historical average.
'Peru is no longer a reliable supplier of fishmeal and fish oil'
Peru At the level of marine ingredients, Peru has lost leadership in fishmeal production, according to the president of the National Fisheries Society.
 
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+Co.KG (Head Office)
Inmarsat plc - Global Headquarters
Marks & Spencer
Tesco PLC (Supermarket) - Headquarters
Nueva Pescanova, S.L. - Group Headquarters
Sea Harvest Corporation (PTY) Ltd.
I&J - Irvin & Johnson Holding Company (Pty) Ltd.
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 - 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-
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 Headquarters
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 - 2016 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER