NewsBits…May 6, 2021

ABO Introduces New Membership Category

The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) has introduced a new Bronze membership category for early-stage algae ventures that are bringing new technologies, products or processes into the market. The new category is designed to help algae entrepreneurs take advantage of opportunities in the wake of the pandemic, including an increasing demand for cutting-edge innovations that address global challenges.
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Maine Seaweed Growers to Break Records

Maine’s seaweed farmers are in the midst of a spring harvest that is almost certain to break state records. America’s seaweed farming industry is based principally in Maine, where the business has grown swiftly over the past several years. Atlantic Sea Farms, a Saco company that works with two dozen seaweed farmers, said it’s likely to harvest more than 800,000 pounds this year.
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Algae-derived Nasal Spray Reduces COVID Infection

Amcyte Pharma, a Seattle-based company dedicated to the commercialization of immunomodulators, announced the results of an independent clinical trial. The product, NasitrolTM nasal spray, represents a safe and effective treatment that could prevent transmission of COVID-19. Amcyte will market Nasitrol in the U.S. through a licensing agreement from Laboratorio Pablo Cassara, an Argentinean pharma company.
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Equipping Crops for Climate Change

Ateam of researchers led by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet biologist Dario Leister has now used “artificial laboratory evolution” to identify mutations that enable unicellular cyanobacteria to tolerate high levels of light. The project is seeking ways of endowing plants with the ability to cope with climate change. The cyanobacteria used in the study were derived from a strain of cells that were used to grow at low levels of light.
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Ancient Response Regulates Beneficial Symbioses

Microalgae of the dinoflagellate group have engaged in intracellular symbioses with corals since primeval times. Researchers from the University of Heidelberg recently discovered that such symbioses depend on the ability of the algae to suppress the immune system of their host cell and thereby avoid being “spit out.” The researchers also found indications that this cellular immune response is an evolutionarily ancient mechanism that is more widespread than previously assumed.
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