Dig out your best algae-themed photographs.
Keep the date: 9th of June – the closing date for the 2017 Hilda Canter-Lund photography competition.
A prize of £250 will be awarded to the photograph that best combines the informative, technical and aesthetic qualities embodies by Hilda Canter-Lund’s photography. It can be of a micro- or macroalga, marine or freshwater, taken by any photographic medium and the competition is open to all.
More info here
Dr Sara Barrento recently presented a CoS lunchtime talk about the emergence of the sea vegetables. CoS Lunchtime Talks is an event run by the Colledge of Science at Swansea University, aiming to bring together each department of the college to discuss their research, combine expertise, and perhaps collaborate. You can see her presentation below.
During last week (13.02.17-17.02.17), part of Swansea University team of PhycoPigment project (Innovate Uk- Newton-CONACYT), Dr Claudio Fuentes-Grunewald and Dr Bob Lovitt visited INECOL and Tecnológico de Monterrey facilities in Mexico. It was the first face to face meeting with our Mexican colleagues and it was a great opportunity to discuss latest results of our experiments. Swansea University Team in this project Robert Bob W Lovitt, Carole A Llewellyn, Alla Silkina, Darren Oatley-Radcliffe Tecnológico de Monterrey colleagues Saul García @Gibran Aleman Nava, INECOL team @Eugenia Olguín
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
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 team members represented Swansea University at the British Phycology Society Winter meeting organised at Bangor University on the 11th, 12th and 13th of January.
The conference was the oppurtunity for Algaewales to present the diversity of its research thanks to 3 oral presentations and 1 poster presentation :
Alla Silkina : “An algal-bacteria consortium for successful waste remediation and probiotic effect for aquaculture feeding”
Fleuriane Fernandes : “Use of FTIR spectrophotometry to monitor post-harvest treatments in seaweeds for enhancement of macromolecular composition”
Kevin Flynn : “A new paradigm for marine planktonic primary production”
Jessica Knoop : “Seasonal observation of life history stages and population dynamics of the red alga Porphyra dioica in South 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
Researchers from Swansea University (AlgaeWales Team members Fleuriane Fernandes and Claudio Fuentes Grünewald) and Durham University presented a poster at the 5th edition of the Seagriculture in Aveiro (Portugal) on the 27th and 28th of September.
The poster presented the “Modification Of The Biochemical Composition Of The Two Macroalgal Species Laminaria digitata and Ulva lactuca Via Post-harvesting Treatments” and received positive feedbacks and enthousiasm from researchers all around Europe.
The 5th Edition of the Seagriculture was the occasion to combines academic- and industry speakers all working on macroalgae and microalgae biology, cultivation, extraction processes for high-end products but also legislation and seaweed farming economics.