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
Latvia
Dec 22, 01:40 (GMT + 9):
EU funds expected to help treble Latvian aquaculture production
Mexico
Dec 22, 00:40 (GMT + 9):
Biotechnology to farm sea cucumber and yellowtail snapper under development
United States
Dec 20, 02:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - WSU report says water plan overvalues fish recovery
India
Dec 20, 02:00 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Vijayawada to be country’s fish capital
United States
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - EPA to step in on fish consumption water rules
Australia
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Seafood country-of-origin labelling may be extended to fish and chip shops
New Zealand
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Finfish Farming Plan Goes Belly Up
United Kingdom
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - New record for deepest fish
European Union
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Call for fisheries experts for the Joint Scientific Committees within Sustainable Fisheries Agreements
Australia
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Demand for trout increases as people choose fish over ham this Christmas
Australia
Dec 20, 01:50 (GMT + 9):
IN BRIEF - Barramundi: calls to restrict the name to Australian fish
Thailand
Dec 19, 23:50 (GMT + 9):
Better prospects for Thai shrimp in 2015
Chile
Dec 19, 23:40 (GMT + 9):
25 tonnes of illegal hake seized in less than a week
United States
Dec 19, 23:20 (GMT + 9):
Shrimp processors support 'Leveling the Playing Field Act'
United Kingdom
Dec 19, 22:40 (GMT + 9):
Crab potters could profit from unwanted catches



Lenguaje
FEATURED EVENTS
  
TOP STORIES
Arctic warming poses new challenges to fishing
United States Arctic warming is deeply affecting the top of the planet and some of the biggest changes represent a challenge for fisheries in the north.
NGO Coalition recognizes EU efforts against illegal fishing
European Union The NGO Coalition against illegal fishing appreciates the efforts of the European Union (EU) to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Lower lobster capture would mean returning to 'typical years'
United States Apparently, the Maine’s 2014 lobster fishing season will result in lower catches compared to the two previous years, which increases the likelihood of rise in market prices.
More than 100 aquaculture farms ASC certified
Worldwide The Aquaculture Stewardship Council has welcomed more than one hundred certified farms into its certification programme in just over two years.
 
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 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 - 2014 Fish Info & Services Co.Ltd| All Rights Reserved.   DISCLAIMER