As medical researchers continue their efforts to improve human health، some are turning their attention to the ocean because they believe that the Earth's seas might harbor novel disease-fighting chemistry، as the Health News said.
Could human health depend on the creatures of the ocean? The oceans cover more than two-thirds of Earth. As the adage goes، we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean.
The sea's ability to transition from dark، explosive rage to serene، crystal-clear calm has terrified and beguiled humanity since we first visited the beach.
Given the vast، untapped nature of Earth's oceans، it makes sense to plumb their depths in the hunt for new and innovative treatments.
Marine animals، plants، and microbes have evolved a unique portfolio of chemicals to defend themselves and aid communication. Scientists are keen to know more about these novel compounds.
Why look to the sea? There are a number of reasons why life in the sea has developed a distinct selection of molecules. For instance، animals that are anchored to the floor and do not have armor plating، such as sponges and corals، need to find other ways to defend themselves. In many cases، chemicals are their weapon of choice.
Additionally، marine creatures tend to have relatively primitive immune systems، and some live in overcrowded habitats، such as coral reefs، where defending themselves is a full-time job.
At the same time، organisms in the ocean need to attract some organisms and repel others. They also need to coordinate reproduction by synchronizing the release of eggs and sperm into the environment. All of these things require active biological molecules.
Animals and plants that dwell in the ocean sit and swim in a bath of bacteria، fungi، and other organisms intent on turning them into a meal or a home.
This diversity of threats has forced evolution to mount increasingly complex chemical battles. Some of the resulting compounds might be useful for our own war against disease.