Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sponges As Drugs

Date:
May 13, 2005
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
Dutch researcher Nicole de Voogd has investigated the possibilities for rearing sea sponges in Indonesia. Some of these sponges contain substances of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. As these are increasingly difficult to obtain, there is growing interest in alternative methods of exploitation, such as rearing sponges.

Nicole de Voogd studied sponges in Indonesia.
Credit: Image courtesy of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

Dutch researcher Nicole de Voogd has investigated the possibilities for rearing sea sponges in Indonesia. Some of these sponges contain substances of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. As these are increasingly difficult to obtain, there is growing interest in alternative methods of exploitation, such as rearing sponges.

Related Articles


For her research, De Voogd described three new species of sponges and examined the interactions of four sponge species with possible spatial competitors. She discovered that as soon as certain sponge species grow over corals, the coral develops necrotic tissue. From this she concluded that the sponges concerned produce their bioactive substances to defeat spatial competitors. This is important, as in an environment without spatial competitors, such as in a sponge culture, a lower concentration of the substances of interest to the pharmaceutical industry might be produced.

Sponge culture

The researcher tried to rear 9 of the 151 species of sponge observed but was successful with only 3 species. Although the survival rates of these species were generally very high, the growth rates were very slow and unpredictable. Moreover, the reared sponges produced less of the biologically-active substances than their natural counterparts.

Although Indonesia has a very high diversity of sponge species, and therefore a large number of biologically-active substances with pharmaceutical potential, most of the species occur in relatively low densities compared to species in temperate areas. De Voogd discovered that as a result of this low natural density, surprisingly few Indonesian species are suitable for sea rearing.

Sea rearing

Sedentary marine invertebrates such as sponges, are an important source for a large variety of biologically-active substances. Until more advanced techniques such as chemical synthesis, genetic modification and sponge cell culture are realised, rearing in the sea remains the most reliable and effective method for obtaining the large quantities of sponge biomass, necessary for developing drugs.

However, sea rearing can only be used for the large-scale production of useful substances if it can yield large quantities of the sponge species. Therefore, sea rearing would only seem to be a profitable option if the quantities of the substance needed are small or if the growth can be optimised in combination with other reared organisms.

Nicole de Voogd's research was funded by NWO.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Sponges As Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513103059.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2005, May 13). Sponges As Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513103059.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Sponges As Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513103059.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Un-Bee-Lievable: Bees on the Loose After Washington Truck Crash

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 17, 2015) A truck carrying honey bees overturns near Lynnwood, Washington, spreading boxes of live bees across the highway. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

Dog Flu Spreading in Midwestern States

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Dog flu is spreading in several Midwestern states. Dog daycare centers and veterinary offices are taking precautions. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

Raw: Rare Whale Spotted in Gulf of Mexico

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers from the E/V Nautilus had quite a surprise Tuesday, when a curious sperm whale swam around their remotely operated vehicle in the Gulf of Mexico. Cameras captured the encounter. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins