13 Jun 2005

New marine discoveries in the South Pacific may have medicinal uses

7:45 pm on 13 June 2005

Scientists believe micro organisms and sea creatures just discovered by a South Pacific expedition may lead to the creation of new drugs.

The acting director of Hawaii's Undersea Research Laboratory, John Wiltshire, says microbial researchers have teamed up with pharmacology scientists from the University of Mississippi to study the new micro-organisms for their possible industrial and pharmaceutical uses.

HURL is taking part in the New Zealand and American Submarine Ring of Fire Scientific Expedition that has been studying fisheries and marine life in the Pacific since March.

The Honolulu Star says that in the next stage of the expedition, the scientists will visit Tonga and American Samoa for another series of dives to study undersea volcanoes.