One Ocean Hub researcher, PhD student Jazmin Conway at the University of Plymouth gives her insight into working in a laboratory discovering natural products (NPs). These are naturally produced chemicals that have a wide range of functions – those we are most interested in act as antimicrobial compounds. The main aim of the research is to explore deep sea flora and fauna as a potential source of novel NPs that could become the next antibiotics. Terrestrial bacteria have historically been a key source of antimicrobial NPs.
Deep sea sponges harbour a multitude of unique bacteria due to the conditions they face daily and this can result in the presence of bacteria that are very different from those found on land, so they should produce novel NPs. The short video gives insight into what it is like to undertake a PhD in NP discovery and shows some of the laboratory processes used to discover new antibiotics.
The purpose of the research within the One Ocean Hub is to develop a greater understanding of deep sea ecology (micro and macro) and highlight the potential untapped resource it harbours. We aim to integrate science, knowledge and dialogue so that everyone understands the importance of preserving our deep-sea environments.