HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Potent new compound from blue-green algae may help treat, elucidate nerve disorders

Click here for abstract.

HONOLULU, Dec. 19 - Amid a growing list of biologically useful chemicals from the sea, a newly discovered compound - kalkitoxin - stands out for its potential to help researchers understand nerve function, which could someday lead to new treatments for pain, epilepsy and possibly stroke. The finding was reported here today at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies.

The weeklong scientific meeting, held once every five years, is hosted by the American Chemical Society, in conjunction with its counterparts in Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

Lead investigator William Gerwick, Ph.D., a pharmacy professor at Oregon State University in Corvallis, says the neurotoxin - a metabolite in cyanobacteria - is fundamentally new in both structure and potency.

"What we've found is a spectacularly potent neurotoxin, meaning kalkitoxin can kill neurons," explained Gerwick. "And when a compound is very toxic, it's working by a very specific mechanism." He and his collaborators hope to use that mechanism "to dissect neurochemical pathways and to understand how drugs affect them," he said.

Their discovery began "in an absolutely beautiful bay" of the Caribbean island of Curacao, near Venezuela, Gerwick said. "In 1994, we found a collection of cyanobacteria growing like hairs off the sea floor. We brought several liters of it back to Oregon for testing." Marine cyanobacteria, also called blue-green algae, are most familiar to many people as "pond scum."

Back in the laboratory, Gerwick's team ground up samples of the simple plant and tested extracts on brine shrimp and fish. One extract proved toxic even in concentrations of parts per billion. The researchers named the as-yet-mysterious compound after the island's Kalki Bay
'"/>

Contact: Charmayne Marsh
y_marsh@acs.org
808-944-6381
American Chemical Society
18-Dec-2000


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Potential for enhanced sequestration of carbon in soils supports evaluations
2. Potent toxin reveals new antibiotic resistance mechanism
3. Potential blood test for colon cancer risk
4. Potential new treatment for Gaucher disease developed by scientists at Scripps Research Institute
5. Potential cause of arthritis discovered
6. Potential of regenerative medicine explored
7. Potential therapy reported for children, adults with end-stage liver disease
8. Potential allergy vaccine boosts hope for sufferers
9. Potential of tailoring drugs to genetic makeup confirmed--but challenges remain
10. Potential new anthrax therapy discovered
11. Potential gene therapy carriers created that mimic viruses, without the risk

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/22/2014)... in two Minnesota cities demonstrate how communities can ... a ten year program in New England and ... to local conditions. , "Our goal is to ... said program co-leader Latham Stack, of Syntectic International, ... worsened. We help communities move beyond feeling paralyzed ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains ... from the cows, gut bacteria. The findings, reported in ... American Society for Microbiology, hints that cow manure is ... genes that transfer to bacteria in the soils where ... (AR) genes have already been identified, but the vast ...
(Date:4/21/2014)... are on the decline in the Galpagos. , A new ... indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their ... attract mates, have fallen more than 50 percent in less ... is probably due to an unexplained disappearance of sardines from ... at Wake Forest University and the study,s principal investigator. This ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Minnesota projects offer hope and practical help to communities facing more extreme storms 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 2Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes 3Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 2Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... The Pittcon Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that ... an e-Journal and producer of Food Labs Conference ... for the co-location of Food Labs Conference to be held ... registration fee to attend the two-day Food Lab Conference, March ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 2014 Look inside the new Preferred ... the lab, from fluid handling to instruments to supplies. ... when you order. , Preferred Solutions features a ... the L/S® model for precise flow control and dispensing ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... California , January 15, 2014 Oxford ... today announced the appointment of Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD ... years, development experience gained in the biotechnology industry, most recently ... am delighted to welcome Tom at this transformative time for ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... This webinar will focus on EMA and ... in biosimilars. , Regulatory frameworks are evolving many countries ... the complex nature of biopharmaceuticals makes the demonstration of ... challenging. Based on the specific aspects of biosimilar drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 2Pittcon Announces Second Year Partnership With Food Safety Tech 3Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 2Oxford BioTherapeutics Appoints Thomas C Reynolds MD, PhD to its Board of Directors 3Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2
Cached News: