The fjords and arctic waters of Norway have become a 'liquid goldmine' for prospecting for the next blockbuster drugs for cancer, AIDS, and other ills, according to an article scheduled for the Oct. 8 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. In the article, C&EN associate editor Lisa M. Jarvis points out that Norway may not seem like the most logical place to look for compounds that may become best-selling new drugs.
However, researchers believe that the rich diversity of marine life in Norway's waters represents what could amount to a previously unexplored pharmaceutical goldmine.
Scientists long have searched the world's oceans for new drug candidates. However, the quest has focused mainly on tropical waters. Part of Norway's promise, Jarvis explains, is due to a unique circulation pattern that mixes cold water from the Arctic with the warmer water of the Gulf Stream.
That environment nurtures a rich and unique diversity of fish, invertebrates, algae and other organisms that may harbor medicinally or technologically intriguing natural chemicals. There are no guarantees of success, but the potential payoffs are enough that government, academic and industrial scientists are teaming up for the search, the article notes.
"Given their motivation, Norway's biotechnological promise may be limited only by the speed with which they can mine the country's icy waters," Jarvis writes.
Article: "Liquid Goldmine: Scientists in Norway are plumbing the seas for the next blockbuster medicine"
Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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