What is blue biotechnology?Info Center
Marine microorganisms: chemical weapons for human well-being.
The longevity of modern life and the discovery of antibacterial drugs are inseparable. Antibiotics derived from bacteria are a crucial component in medications that fight infection. Microorganisms, which include bacteria, fungi, protists and viruses, were the first life forms on Earth. The number of prokaryotes on Earth is estimated at approximately 5 x 1030, which represents at least half of the planet’s biomass. These microbes are the simplest yet most diverse creatures on Earth. Scientists believe that the evolutionary history of microorganisms spans billions of years, whereas the history of human evolution is only 200 million years old. This is why the ability of microbes to survive and adapt to their environment, as well as use competitive means and survival strategies, is far greater than one might imagine.
Using toxins to eliminate competitors is among the survival mechanisms of microorganisms. Alternately, microbes can also protect themselves against harmful attacks by rivals. In this regard, these microbial properties could potentially benefit human health through modern technology. Microorganisms have been invaluable in the development of leading medicines and compounds, particularly in developing drugs to combat infection, and cancer-fighting agents. However, our options in terms of drugs to treat infectious diseases are increasingly limited. Since the late 1960s, only two new classes of antibiotics, namely oxazolidinones and lipopeptides, have been brought to market.
Microorganisms can be used for therapeutic purposes in the following ways: 1) Extracting or synthesizing valuable pharmaceutical compounds from microbial cells or in a culture medium; 2) Developing microbial metabolites as compounds for the development of new therapeutic agents with potential clinical applications in various medical fields; 3) Reconstructing bacterial DNA to produce therapeutic agents through genetic engineering; and 4) Applying whole microbes in targeted direct treatments.
The cosmetics industry is increasingly turning to the sea and ocean in search of new ingredients. Coastal plants, marine algae and minerals are particularly interesting to natural cosmetics companies that are seeking new sources of innovation. The high demand for marine ingredients is driving up the number of raw material suppliers who specialize in these types of products. However, the popularity of marine ingredients is raising concerns that supplying them on a large scale or using unsustainable production methods could alter marine ecosystems that are already under pressure from overfishing and climate change.
Faced with a cosmetics industry that has an insatiable appetite for new ingredients, the challenge lies in combining innovation and sustainability. There are signs that this is already underway, which is why MEDITOPIC is committed to a sustainable supply of marine ingredients based on the research, analysis and study of the efficacy of marine microorganisms as an unlimited resource.