NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Centre aims to use oceans to help fight diseases

Marcel Jaspars diving
Image caption Prof Marcel Jaspars hopes to make breakthroughs in medicine

A £1.6m research centre aimed at using resources from the sea to fight diseases such as cancer has opened.

The University of Aberdeen Marine Biodiscovery Centre is researching the development of new medicines from marine organisms.

It is said to be one of very few in the world to bring together chemists and biologists to work together on new pharmaceuticals.

The ways mammals fight bacterial infections will be one area of study.

Prof Marcel Jaspars, director of the Marine Biodiscovery Centre, said: "The greatest diversity of life on our planet can be found in the world's seas in the form of marine organisms which live in a huge variety of habitats.

"Scientists at the University of Aberdeen have been conducting research exploring how the rich and diverse range of unique compounds which exist in these organisms can be used in the development of drugs and other novel biomedical products, for a number of years.

"The creation of the new Marine Biodiscovery Centre is allowing us to advance our research using state-of-the-art technologies, and work towards important new breakthroughs in this crucial area of medical discovery."

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