A research team from DRI, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of South Florida have successfully tracked a natural compound that fights melanoma. It is called “palmerolide A,” and its source is a microbe that lives in ascidians.
We have now finally been able to identify the specific microbe that produces this compound, which is a huge step forward in the development of natural treatments for skin cancer.
They carried out several rounds of genome sequencing and identified its specific source. According to scientists, in the future this will allow putting the synthesis of “palmerolide A” on a stream, which means there will be no need to collect it in the natural habitat of ascidians.
There are still many questions, for example, how certain species of ascidians and their symbionts producing palmerolid are distributed over the landscape in the Antarctic Ocean, or what role does palmerolide A play in the ecology of this species.