Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have isolated a microalgal strain which produces large amounts of a polyunsaturated fatty acid that could reduce blood pressure, chronic inflammation and blood cholesterol level, reducing the risk for heart attacks.
A research team at BGU's Landau Family Microalgal Biotechnology Lab in the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) headed by Prof. Zvi HaCohen, is studying an algal mutant that is capable of accumulating up to 15 percent (of dry weight) of a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) called DGLA (Dihomo-ã-Linolenic Acid). The new strain, IKG-1, is a freshwater microalga that the researchers believe is the only known plant source capable of producing such significant amounts of DGLA.
"Omega-6 PUFA are necessary as components of brain cell membranes and have various nutritional uses," explains HaCohen, incumbent of the Maks and Rochelle Etingin Chair in Desert Research and rector-elect at BGU. "DGLA is one of these PUFA, but appears in nature only as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of other compounds and does not accumulate to any appreciable concentration. There is no natural source for DGLA and although its beneficial effects are well known, very few clinical studies have been conducted."
The research team also included the director of the Landau Laboratory, Prof. Sammy Boussiba; director of the BIDR Prof. Avigad Vonshak; Dr. Inna Khozin-Goldberg; and Ph.D. student Pushkar Shrestha.
"The significant discovery of the IKG-1 microalgal mutant and its high content of DGLA could impact treatment of life-threatening diseases, such as chronic inflammations, multiple sclerosis and arteriosclerosis," explains Dr. Ora Horovitz, vice president of business development for BGN Technologies, the technology transfer and commercialization subsidiary of BGU.
"Our Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory continues to be a leading innovator in its work on microalgae and its products harnessing Negev resources, such as brackish water and highly abundant sunlight. BGU is continuing to develop valuable pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, as well as biofuels and other potential alternative energy sources."
About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision, creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. With more than 19,000 students on campuses in Beer-Sheva, Sede Boqer and Eilat in Israel's southern desert, BGU is a university with a conscience, where the highest academic standards are integrated with community involvement, committed to sustainable development of the Negev. For more information, please visit www.aabgu.org.
Andrew Lavin | EurekAlert!
Speed data for the brain’s navigation system
06.12.2016 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering