Ocean Action Hub

2 Jun 2020 - When we think of public health risks, we may not think of the ocean as a factor. Increasingly, however, the health of the ocean is intimately tied to our health. Some may be surprised to read that organisms discovered at extreme depths are used to speed up the detection of COVID-19, and probably, even more to learn that, it is the environment that could give a solution to humankind.

Bacteria, found in the depths of the ocean, are used to carry out rapid testing to detect the presence of COVID-19. "It is just one of the many prodigious uses of these organisms, which were discovered by some American microbiologists off the Adriatic in 1986", says Francesca Santoro, an oceanographer and researcher at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO).

Francesca Santoro, IOC Project Office at the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice, Italy), interviewed by Corriere della Sera‘s Quimamme, explained that the ocean is an ally in fighting the virus. Not only does it help in the detection of COVID-19 but to also combat it.

Finding answers in the ocean

Microbiologists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute discovered the bacteria that underline this fundamental role for COVID-19. The bacteria were identified years ago. It is also useful to diagnose AIDS and SARS. The research, published in the Journal of Applied & Environmental Microbiology, continues to be of interest today as the ocean is a valid ally against the virus. The ocean is closely tied to human health.

Our ocean and coasts affect us - even those of us who don't live near the shoreline.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://en.unesco.org/news/covid-19-ocean-ally-against-virus

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Publication date: 
02/06/2020
Publication Organisation: 
UNESCO
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