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
May 25, 03:10 (GMT + 9):
EC calls for voluntary origin labelling for food
Canada
May 25, 02:30 (GMT + 9):
Lobster fee colletion plans go ahead
Canada
May 25, 01:30 (GMT + 9):
Government invests USD 2 million to boost aquaculture exports
Spain
May 25, 00:20 (GMT + 9):
Calvo increases sales and maintains its market growth
United States
May 23, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - New model predicts fish population response to dams, other ecological factors
United States
May 23, 04:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fish farm facing big court judgments, questions
Norway
May 23, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Findus Group Update – Q2 Financial Year Ending September 2015
United Kingdom
May 23, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - California declares emergency over oil spill
Canada
May 23, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fortune full-time jobs not part of OCI deal, fisheries minister says
Viet Nam
May 23, 03:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Fire at seafood storage building cost billions
United States
May 23, 02:40 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Providence St. Peter Hospital achieves MSC certification for sustainable, wild-caught seafood
Norway
May 23, 02:40 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Marine Harvest: Sale of shares in Havfisk ASA
Australia
May 22, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Mass farmed salmon deaths raises concerns in Tasmania
Oman
May 22, 23:40 (GMT + 9):
Oman closes its ports to pirate fishing
Ecuador
May 22, 23:20 (GMT + 9):
CNA concerns about atypical mortalities in Honduras shrimp farms



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
Genetics provide new hope for endangered freshwater mussels
United States A piece of the restoration puzzle to save populations of endangered freshwater mussels may have been found, according to a recent US Geological Survey led study.
Mass farmed salmon deaths raises concerns in Tasmania
Australia The deaths of hundreds of tonnes of salmon in a storm event that took place in Tasmania's west coast have reignited concerns about the environmental health of the Macquire harbour zone, which is home to large-scale fish farms.
StarKist accepts to pay USD 12 million in class action settlement
United States StarKist Co. has agreed to pay USD 12 million in a class action settlement over allegations presented in 2013 for breach of warranty, unjust enrichment, fraud and violations of California consumer protection laws.
Inspection programme raises controversy at Senate
United States A Department of Agriculture catfish inspection programme raised dispute in the United States Senate because some senators insist the measure duplicates seafood inspections and affects trade deals with foreign countries.
 
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-
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 - 2015 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER