NEW PROJECT TO RESEARCH USEFUL ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF SEAWEED.
Innovative research is underway to investigate antiviral properties of brown seaweeds native to the UK.
Researchers at the James Hutton Institute and AIM-listed partners Byotrol plc in UK have been awarded funding to investigate chemical components from brown seaweeds and identify a way to extract them into effective natural antiviral agents.
The award was announced last year as part of a joint funding call by Algae UK, a network supported by the Biotechnology and biological Sciences Research Council, and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC) to promote the development of sustainable, algae-derived products.
The project is led by Dr. Gordon McDougall and Dr. Will Allwood, from the Institute’s Environmental and Biochemical Sciences department.
Dr. McDougall said: “Brown seaweed compounds contain a range of different components which vary in composition between different seaweeds and sometimes between location of harvest and season. We intend to apply our expertise in natural product chemistry and find an effective way to make them available to society and hopefully help stop the spread of viral diseases.”
Dr. Huw Evans from Byotrol plc added: “Byotrol has, for some time, been investigating sustainably sourced antivirals and have found certain forms of seaweed to have particularly good potential. We are very pleased to now be formally collaborating with the excellent team at the Hutton in this very interesting area.”
The significant support given to the projects from industry highlights the value placed on developing sustainable solutions.
We are really looking forward to seeing the results from these projects and how they progress beyond the first step.
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