Home Back Issues May 2013 OHSU researchers make medicine from mollusks

OHSU researchers make medicine from mollusks

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2013
Monday, April 29, 2013

BY LINDA BAKER

0513 NextDespite their name, shipworms are not worms but mollusks: small, clam-like creatures that cause no end of headaches for boat owners by drilling their hard shells into ship hulls, then consuming that cellulose as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now a team of OHSU researchers, in partnership with scientists from other institutions, has discovered an upside to the hungry worm. To convert wood into nutrient-rich fuel, the shipworm relies on symbiotic bacteria that secrete a powerful antibiotic — one that holds promise for battling human disease, says Margo Haygood, an OHSU marine microbiologist. In humans, antibiotic resistance has become a serious health threat. Not so for the lowly shipworm, which never develops resistance to the organisms involved in the cellulose-conversion process. The mollusk doesn’t appear to suffer from side effects, either, Haygood says. Part of a larger biodiversity initiative underway in the Philippines, the mollusk research may also yield new applications for biofuels production, which typically involves the breakdown of woody matter for the creation of ecologically friendly energy sources. Tapping the treasure trove of marine life for new medications and natural energy sources is a no-brainer, observes Haygood. “Guess what,” she says, “life evolved in the ocean.”

 

More Articles

Speeding up science

News
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
02.25.14 Thumbnail MedwasteBY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER

The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.


Read more...

Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


Read more...

Tech makes the world go round

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, March 20, 2014
03.20.14 thumb internetBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

I don’t think anyone can (or should) remember what it was like to get things done without the internet. This milestone in technology has certainly benefited brick-and-mortar companies and subsequently launched a new era of businesses.


Read more...

Powerlist: Meeting perspectives

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BY BRANDON SAWYER

A conversation about the event-planning industry with sales directors from McMenamins and the Portland Art Museum. 


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

Spring thaw

News
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Spring ThawBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

The “polar vortex” of 2014 seems to have finally thawed and we believe this change in weather will bring more sunshine to the U.S. economy as well.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS