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Mud from the Deepest Place on Earth, Researchers Hope, Could Hold Key to New Cures

by Tanya Thomas on August 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM
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 Mud from the Deepest Place on Earth, Researchers Hope, Could Hold Key to New Cures

The deepest place on Earth - the Mariana Trench - is where researchers are looking for new drug discoveries, using one of the world's most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples taken from these remote spots.

The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving drugs by harnessing the potential of marine organisms, according to the study involving scientists at IBM Research in Zurich and Aberdeen University.

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Aberdeen University's Marine Biodiscovery Centre was established to explore the use of ocean resources in treating diseases from cancer to bacterial infections, reports the Scotsman.

Since last year its researchers have been investigating a bacterium taken from a mud sample from the trench, almost seven miles below the surface of the Pacific.
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The pressure-tolerant bacterium, Dermacoccus abyssi, produced a mystery chemical compound that has now been identified using a scanning technique developed by IBM Research in Switzerland.

Professor Marcel Jaspars, director of the discovery centre, said the collaboration could open new possibilities in drug discovery and treatments.

Source: ANI
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