When humans think of marine organisms, they probably think of them more as a source of food. But they actually hold a special role in our lives. They play a huge part in the biomedical field that helps us create medicines, treatments or innovations that will improve our health.
These 17 Biomedical Importance of Marine Organisms will tell you exactly how crucial they are. They may have already saved a lot of lives without people realising it.
Also read: Ecological Importance of Marine Organism
1. Production of Vitamins
Marine fungi are the fungi that live within the marine environment. There are still many things to be uncovered about these species but they have proven themselves to be very useful. The marine fungi are commonly used for producing vitamins. Specifically, they are included in the making of vitamin B.
Read more: Importance Marine Fungi
2. Track Cancer Cells
Some marine organisms contain a unique protein that is now used to track cancer cells. They are jellyfish or tadpoles This protein is green and glowing. This enables scientists to know how cancer cells spread. It provides more insight to the nature of cancerous cells.
3. Diabetes Treatment
Another use from the glowing protein is for diabetes treatment. The protein is attached to cells in the pancreas. Those cells are responsible for producing insulin. Scientists can gain more knowledge about the whole process of the body creating insulin. Thus, it leads to new effective treatments for diabetes.
4. Alzheimer’s Treatment
The coral reefs are said to hold a wide range of medicine that can treat all sorts of diseases. One of them is the Alzheimer’s disease. The treatment of the disease consists of using corals. The calcium that they hold is used to treat patients. Some supplements are already rolled out to treat Alzheimer’s.
Read more: Conservation of Coral Reef
5. Provide Polysaccharides
Seaweed is also a marine organism that is important in the biomedical world. Polysaccharides are extracted out of the seaweeds for various applications. For instance, tissue engineering is done with this compound. It holds the right kind of property that can help with the tissue engineering. Other than that, it also helps in healing wounds.
Also see: Characteristics of Seaweeds
6. Sterilise Vaccine Equipments
A highly important marine organism would be the horseshoe crabs. Their blood is blue and can be used to make Limulus amebocyte lysate. It’s a material that is able to sterilise vaccine equipments from deadly bacterias. Equipments can be prevented from being contaminated by dangerous bacteria such as as E. coli.
7. Asthma Medicine
This one involves seaweed. Most asthma medicines still contain steroids. So, seaweed contain a material that can change that. The slimy thing on seaweed is called as sodium alginate. That sodium can be used to produce effective asthma medicine that no longer has to contain steroids.
8. HIV Drugs
Sea sponges are proven to be important in the biomedical world as well. For this, they specifically use the Tectitethya crypta sea sponge deep in the Caribbean sea. They contain two important chemicals called spongothymidine and spongouridine. Those chemicals are used to produce HIV drugs. The drugs made their first breakthrough in the 1980s.
9. Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
Another use of the sea sponge is to treat pancreatic cancer. In this treatment, the sponge that is used is the green sponge, Latrunculia austini. Scientists found out that the sponge contains compounds that can be used to treat the cancer cells. They are able to select the tumor cells and eliminate them.
10. Study Nervous System
The Cone snails are sea snails that are commonly found in the Pacific oceans and the Caribbean seas. These particular marine organisms are venomous. But that’s why they are so important in the biomedical world. They can help researchers to study how the human nervous system works. That can lead to various treatments in diseases.
11. Nervous System Treatment
The venom of the Cone snails have in fact shown potential in treating diseases related to the nervous system. The venom could help in treating depression and epilepsy. What researchers found were chains of amino acids that are helpful in formulating the treatments.
12. Non-Opioid Drugs
Pain relieving drugs still contain opiums. Though they are good for easing pain, people who use them are at risk of becoming addicted. Researchers have been looking at Cone snails as alternative pain relieving drugs that will be opium free.
13. Pain Relief Medicine
Some sea snails have been used as successful pain relief medicine. One of the medicines is Prialt, introduced to the public since 2004. Unlike any other medicines, this particular one is not addictive. Moreover, researchers are claiming that is a lot more effective than morphine.
14. Heart Disease Treatment
Marine organisms are also important in heart disease treatment. The organisms used in the biomedical field are the zebrafish. Apparently, the zebrafish have this unique ability to regenerate their own hearts. The zebrafish are used in the research to develop treatment that would save many lives.
15. Epilepsy Treatment
Another thing about the zebrafish is that it is used to test pharmaceutical medicine that treats epilepsy. Researchers use the zebrafish larvae for this. They respond well to the studies and also don’t cost a lot of money.
16. Study Tissue Reorganisation
Jellyfish have the ability to regrow their own body parts. In case they lose a tentacle, they can just grow out a new one. This can help the biomedical world to study about tissue reorganisation. It will eventually help in treating amputations in humans.
17. Power Biomedical Devices
Apparently researchers are looking forward to use electric eels to power their biomedical devices. Those eels have more advantages than the traditional batteries. The electric eels have cells that can create renewable energy.
With all these importance, it’s clear that marine organisms will always be a huge part of the biomedical field. With more research and advanced technology, scientists will find new breakthroughs or treatments that will improve the quality of people’s lives.