Marine micro-organisms are a prolific, rich and diverse source
of novel biochemistry.
Billions of years of competition for resources and reproductive
advantages have endowed marine micro-organisms with the ability to
impose selection pressure on their neighbours and to resist the
corresponding counter-pressures via the production of a wide-range
of natural chemicals.
In addition, their adaptations to extremes of, and often rapid
fluctuations in, environmental pressures such as pH, salt,
temperature and pressure have provided marine microbes with the
ability to produce novel molecules, including secondary
metabolites, not found in terrestrial micro-organisms.
Many of these molecules exhibit functional activity that could
have beneficial impact on human health and wellbeing including
anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and/or anti-microbial activity.
Whilst many of today's pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals have
their origins in terrestrial micro-organisms, their marine
counter-parts have the potential to generate the next generation of