Skip navigation
D. Powerful Drug Resources Found in Ocean Sediments

Narrator: This is Science Today. An important discovery about the ocean was made by scientists at the University of California, San Diego's Scripp's Institution of Oceanography. William Fenical, who led the research, says they found that ocean sediments - even those found at the deepest parts at the bottom of the sea - contain microorganisms that when cultured in the lab, produce drugs.

Fenical: These are unique organisms found in deep ocean sediments, they have unique genes and we've shown just how prolific the world's oceans can be in this regard.

Narrator:The discovery is a significant biomedical resource for microbes that can produce antibiotic molecules.

Fenical: They have the ability to produce molecules that are completely new and therefore contribute to the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer and a variety of other areas.

Narrator: In fact, of the 100 strains of these organisms tested, 80 percent produced molecules that inhibited cancer cell growth. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.