In the press

Trending Research published by Dr Carole Llewellyn

Taylor & Francis selected as a highlight a review published by Dr Carole Llewellyn (AlgaeWales team member) in the European Journal of Phycology on Cyanobacterial metabolites as a source of sunscreens and moisturizers.

The article is now trending and reviews the diverse beneficial impacts of cyanobacterial metabolites and emphasize on the many oppurtinuties to use these high value products in cosmetics which is a booming industry for the use of Algae.

You can read the full article here

Abstract :

The recognition that ultraviolet radiation has harmful effects on the skin has led to the commercial development of inorganic and synthetic organic UV filters that can reduce the negative effects of exposure to sunlight. In addition, moisturizing chemicals are extensively used in personal care products to improve the ability of skin to retain water. Whilst current UV filter and moisturizing chemicals have clear beneficial qualities, they may also have adverse effects such as contact sensitivity, oestrogenicity and even tumorigenic effects on human skin. Furthermore, the accumulation of these chemicals in the aquatic environment could be potentially harmful. Consequently, there is interest in exploiting safer alternatives derived from biological sources, especially from photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria which have developed mechanisms for coping with high UV irradiation and desiccation. In order to overcome the detrimental effects of UV radiation, these microorganisms produce UV screening compounds such as mycosporine-like amino acids and scytonemin, which are good candidates as alternatives to current synthetic UV filters. In addition, extracellular substances produced by some extremophilic species living in hyper-arid habitats have a high water retention capacity and could be used in cosmetic products as moisturizers. In this review, we present an overview of the literature describing the potential of cyanobacterial metabolites as an alternative source for sunscreens and moisturizers.


AlgaeWales on BBC Radio Wales

AlgaeWales Team members Fleuriane Fernandes and Alla Silkina have been interviewed for the show Country Focus aired on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the benefits of growing seaweeds in Wales, using as an example the seaweed farm set up in Pembroke Dock, Milford Haven Port Authority.

The interview was carried out on the seaweed farm set up in Pembrokeshire and is available on BBC iPlayer

New research paper published in Bioresource Technology journal by AlgaeWales microalgae team

 Dr Fuentes Grunewald and Dr Alla Silkina  published a new publication untitled Utilising light-emitting diodes of specific narrow wavelengths for the optimization and co-production of multiple high-value compounds in Porphyridium purpureum”

Abstract : The effect of specific narrow light-emitting diode (LED) wavelengths (red, green, blue) and a combination of LED wavelengths (red, green and blue – RGB) on biomass composition produced by Porphyridium purpureum is studied. Phycobiliprotein, fatty acids, exopolysaccharides, pigment content, and the main macromolecules composition were analysed to determine the effect of wavelength on multiple compounds of commercial interest. The results demonstrate that green light plays a significant role in the growth of rhodophyta, due to phycobiliproteins being able to harvest green wavelengths where chlorophyll pigments absorb poorly. However, under multi-chromatic LED wavelengths, P. purpureum biomass accumulated the highest yield of valuable products such as eicosapentaenoic acid (∼2.9% DW), zeaxanthin (∼586 μg g−1 DW), β-carotene (397 μg g−1 DW), exopolysaccharides (2.05 g/L−1), and phycobiliproteins (∼4.8% DW). This increased accumulation is likely to be the combination of both photo-adaption and photo-protection, under the combined specific wavelengths employed.

The full article here

Dr Alla Silkina talks microalgae cultivation in India

Dr Alla Silkina (AlgaeWales team member) participated in the British Council organised Newton Bhabha Researcher Link Workshop on ‘Clean water through advanced and affordable materials’ in Chennai (India) where Dr Silkina was a honoured guest. She presented her promising research and discussed the benefits of microalgae cultivation for polluted water bioremediation. Her work has been extremely well received and her intervention has been reported in the journal The Times of India.

The article here

We are on BBC and YouTube

AlgaeWales has its own YouTube Channel, and to kickstart this feature we have Jonathan and Jessica on BBC1. Country file meets Jonathan and Jessica in a hunt for laver. Jonathan runs the Pembrokshire Beach Food Company, and collects seaweed to cook delicious dishes. Jessica is doing a PhD at Swansea University under the supervision of Dr Sara Barrento and Dr John Griffin. Together they aim to make sure laver is harvested in a sustainable way. We will be posting videos on outreach events, seminars and general dissemination. You may start by watching our participation in Countryfile. Thanks to BBC 1.



New publication for Dr. Claudio Fuentes Grünewald

Dr. Claudio Fuentes Grünewald (AlgaeWales team member) investigated Long-term dinoflagellate culture performance in a commercial photobiorector on the specie Amphidinium carterae. The article was published this July  in the journal Bioresource Technology.

Abstract : The aim of this work was to study the culture performance of a dinoflagellate in a commercial photobioreactor. The results obtained during this long-term experiment allow to confirm that Amphidinium carterae is a promising dinoflagellate that can be exploited successfully in closed systems, in semi-continuous mode in indoor and outdoor environments. The average results in an indoor 5 cm light-path 320 L photobioreactor were, in terms of specific growth rate (0.29 d−1), duplication time (3.1 d−1) and dry biomass productivity (78 mg L−1 d−1). Specific compounds production was found including ω3 and ω6 fatty acids and, pigments (Peridinin, β-carotene). These promising results, besides unique characteristics found during the exploitation period such as resistance to mechanical stress, self-control of contaminant organisms, and quick cells aggregation when the culture is not in turbulence conditions, makes A. carterae one of the new target species suitable for commercially exploitation on an industrial scale.

The full article here

BBC Countryfile reports about AlgaeWales work

Jessica Knoop, PhD candidate (KESS funding, supervised by Dr. John Griffin, Dr. Sara Barrento and Pr. Kam Tang) working on an European funded project in collaboration with Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company to establish sustainable seaweed cultivation in South Wales, was joined by the BBC Countryfile team for her field work at Freshwater West. The programme gives insights into the traditional and current use of laverbread (Porphyra) in Wales. Despite the fact that it is picked for a long time, we still lack crucial knowledge about ecological and economical important features of this interesting red alga.

Have a look yourself and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline and its creative people here

UK and India collaborate on algal bioenergy production

3rd of June 2016: published a new article, talking about our team Dr Carole Llewellyn and Dr Alla Silkina collaboration  with Indian colleagues Professor N. Thajudden, a microbiologist and expert in cyanobacteria from Bharathidasan, Thiruchirappali, and Dr. V Sivasubramanian, Director of Phycospectrum Environment Research Centre (PERC).IMG_7427
Picture was taken  at TATA steel site visit; from left to right: Yeliz Marshal, Tata Steel officer, Dr. V Sivasubramanian,Professor N. Thajudden, Dr Carole Llewellyn, Dr Alla Silkina

Seaweed farm examines biofuel potential – The Western Telegraph- BBC Wales

Fleuriane Fernandes, – Algaewales team member and macroalgae expert- was interviewed by the Welsh newspaper The Western Telegraph and BBC Wales to discuss seaweed cultivation in the Milford Haven Waterway.

Fleuriane Fernandes explained the interest and potential of seaweeds to develop new biofuels, but also their potential in food and health industries.

The Western Telegraph article
BBC Wales article

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