Researchers at NUI Galway are hoping that samples gathered from the bed of the Atlantic Ocean can be used to develop new treatments for a range of medical conditions.
Marine scientists are examining material gathered on the latest deep sea expedition off the Mayo coast.
Their research voyage focused on an area on the edge of the continental shelf, around 100km west of Belmullet.
During the course of their trip, sponge samples and octocorals were gathered by the Marine Institute’s Holland I remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The organisms produce chemicals to defend themselves from other marine life. It’s hoped that the structures of these chemicals can be used to develop new drugs.
Researchers in Galway will work with colleagues from a number of other institutes around the world to see if the extracted materials can play a part in tackling various types of cancer, as well as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.