Researchers have recently found an old cypress on the coastal area of Alabama. A research team funded by NOAA has started analyzing the peculiar phenomenon that dates back from 60.000 years ago. Their primary goal was to determine the composition of the ancient ecosystem and to develop new medicine as well as brand-new biotechnology.
The shipworms are a species a clam that is called the “termite of the sea,” whose craving for dead trees has caused their different evolution from other species alike. Their eating habits have affected their appearance, making their shell more tubular than average. In addition to this, they have a particular set of cells that allow them to convert the wood into animal tissue.
The research is analyzing a type of bacteria present inside the shipworms and their name is Teredinibacter. The interest in this species is mainly produced by their ability to create enzymes destroy the plant cell materials successfully.
The Surprising Medicines In The Ancient Forest
Their composition is high in biopharmaceutical potential, being less prone to be toxic to humans since they have already been accepted by the immune system of animals. The scientists are taking into consideration their implication when it comes to parasites. Other medicine is incredibly powerful and has a large set of side effects.
While many enterprises were forced to shut during the lockdown period, a team of researchers from the University of Utah has recently received permission to research the chemical compounds of this bacteria that might generate a cure against the deadly COVID19. The leading researcher has declared that in most the cases, such a process can take up to several years.
However, they are hoping to manage to accelerate this process and make as many tests as possible. Whether this bacteria will be a successful asset during the coronavirus fight, it is still subject to investigation, and the only thing we can do is to wait until further notice.