Oceanic Cornucopia

Echinoderms are a renewable resource with an economic value due to their increasing demand as food and/or source of bioactive molecules exerting antitumor, antiviral, anticoagulant, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities.

Sea Urchin Could Help Cure Diseases

A purple sea urchin has 70 percent of its genes in common with humans, including genes associated with such diseases as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and muscular dystrophy.

There are roughly 100 human disease genes in the sea urchin genome.

Researchers said they believe similarities in the genes of sea urchins could one day help them better understand how the human immune system works.

Eat kelp

(Hudson) Lamouroux, Laminaria digitata

Did you know that kelp is an ingredient in many household foods! Foods like frozen foods, cakes, puddings, salad dressings, shampoos, and toothpastes contain alginate. Alginate is an apparently safe derivative of seaweed (kelp), and is used to maintains the desired texture in many products.

Tunicates, an ancient sea species dating back nearly five hundred million years, possess incredible regeneration properties

Tunicate ‘hair’ could help repair damaged muscles

New research from the UK has discovered that tunicates, an ancient sea species dating back nearly five hundred million years, possess incredible regeneration properties.

Scientists at Manchester University discovered that the creatures’ microscopic hairs contain a compound with the ability to function as building blocks that could mend damaged muscle tissue. This discovery may have the potential to treat patients suffering from serious injuries and even permanent disabilities.

A tunicate is a marine invertebrate animal, a member of the subphylum Tunicata, which is part of the Chordata, a phylum which includes all animals with dorsal nerve cords and notochords.

Tunicates may hold key in Alzheimer's research

According to San Diego biology professor Bob Zeller, the invertebrate that grows on boat hulls and dock pilings shares a protein with humans leads to the development of plaques, the brain irregularities that are linked to Alzheimer's disease. According to Zeller, his lab has been able to produce plaques in sea squirts in a mere 24 hours.