Press coverage: Public presentation “Treasures of the Adriatic Sea: Towards Sustainable and Innovative Bio-Economy” during BlueGenics Summer school 2014

In the frame of this Summer school, W.E.G. Müller gave a Public lecture about the topic: “Treasures of the Adriatic Sea: Towards Sustainable and Innovative Bio-Economy”; Multimedia Center Rovinj, 17th September 2014. This event took great interest in the media; see for example the following newspaper article and its translation.

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Media coverage of the public lecture of the coordinator (W.E.G. Müller) in the frame of the BlueGenics Summer school in Rovinj, Croatia, 2014

 

 

Translation:

BlueGenics and CoreShell Projects: Summer school, Centre for Research Ruder Boskovic Institute

Sponges and their associated microorganisms are an inexhaustible source of new bioactive compounds that may be used in biomedical research and treatment of various diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, viral diseases, malaria and inflammation

Why sponges?

Have you ever wondered why marine sponges? Sponges filter sea water with about 5 to 10,000,000 bacteria per ml, and even more viruses. It was noticed that they rarely get ill, have attached bacteria or other organisms on their surface. That means that they have mechanisms to combat the attack by harmful bacteria and viruses, or keep them away from themselves. Of course, there is a long way from the discovery of some component with a potential to form new compounds, and inspiration of the synthesis of new drugs. In the last 25 years over 80 percent of therapeutics for the difficult to treat diseases such as cancer, is obtained based on natural compounds. Therefore, Nature is still considered to be a rich source for the discovery of the new drugs, said Renato Batel, head of the Center for Marine Research in Rovinj.

Rovinj - Within the EU projects BlueGenics and CoreShell (7 million euros) the Center for Marine Research (CMR) of the Ruder Boskovic Institute in Zagreb (RBI) organized a summer school, that is going to last until Monday, September 22, and bring together European medical experts, marine biologists and nanobiotechnology scientists.

 

Medications and treatments for serious illnesses

As a part of the projects presentation, a Public lecture was held in the Multimedia Center of the Rovinj by the coordinator of BlueGenics, Prof. Dr. Werner E.G. Müller from the University Medical Center of the University of Mainz in Germany The topic of his lecture was the treasures of the Adriatic Sea and the sustainable development of innovative bio-economy.

Local communities and states must support science and centers like this, even during the present economic crisis, because such research is of key importance, said Müller. He is for the last ten years engaged into this particular scientific area and says that marine organisms are an inexhaustible source for new bioactive compounds that can be used in biomedicine.

Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that biomedical research is not only trying to find a cure for certain diseases, or antibiotics for viruses and bacteria, but also to decode life and cellular processes at the molecular level and genetic level. During the lectures experts will present the research results about the potential of marine living systems and organisms to develop and create useful products, the prospective of the development of drugs and therapies to treat modern diseases, and for other technical applications. Specifically, marine organisms, in particular sponges and their associated microorganisms are an inexhaustible source for new bioactive compounds that may be used in biomedical research and treatment of various diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, viral diseases, malaria and inflammation.

The lecture also refers to nanomaterials that are of paramount importance for many applications in nanotechnology and nanomedicine. Particularly thanks to a consortium of scientists in the CoreShell project, it became possible to develop a new generation of functional nanoparticles by using unique proteins from marine organisms. These nanoparticles will be used, besides in the pharmaceutical industry, also for removal of heavy metals from contaminated aquatic sites, or for remediation and development of innovative strategies against environmental pollution.

 

Nanoparticles and remediation of pollution

The CoreShell project was launched in 2011 as part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU in cooperation with the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany) and the Ruder Boskovic Institute in Zagreb and Rovinj. As a continuation of this successful collaboration, EU launched, in 2012, the project BlueGenics with 6 million EUR, which brings together 16 leading research institutions and companies from China, Croatia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The aim of this project is to investigate bioactive compounds and develop a sustainable production of marine organisms living in normal but also extreme marine environments, in order to produce new drugs for the prevention and treatment of a broad spectrum of diseases.

The summer school program includes lectures, presentations of the results, specific consultations within the frame of selected topics, to be followed by experimental demonstration of research and further work in smaller groups.