the discovery of this molecule could revolutionize treatments

In addition to being pretty, corals could potentially save lives. These are the conclusions of several American researchers, whose work has just been published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

In their study, scientists from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, United States) explain that they have identified a molecule that would be able to slow down or even prevent the growth of cancer cells: it is eleutherobin. It would thus disturb the structure of the cells at the origin of the formation of tumours. In fact, this chemical substance had already been discovered by previous researchers. But until then, a dark side remained as to its source.

Today, Eric Schmidt, professor of chemistry and lead author of the study, is able to say that this molecule is produced by certain soft corals. For several weeks, he and his team conducted research on this compound used by these small marine animals to ward off predators. Soft corals secrete many other chemicals, which could for example serve as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory agents.

Eleutherobin had already proven itself as an anti-cancer treatment. For Eric Schmidt, this discovery is therefore a “drug lead”. He explains that the molecules produced by soft corals can be digested relatively well. The derivative drugs could therefore look like pills (…)

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