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When it Comes to Going Green, These N.C. Scientists are Singing the Blues
Date:4/1/2008

WILMINGTON, N.C., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Going green is so 2007. This year scientists in North Carolina have made a resolution to embrace a new earth-friendly trend -- Going Blue.

This new charge is coming out of MARBIONC (Marine Biotechnology in North Carolina), one of the country's newest business incubators that discovers, develops and markets new products and technologies derived from the sea.

The Go Blue initiative broadens the focus of environmental awareness from land-based projects to include ocean-based ones as well.

"Everyone is so focused on going green it's easy to forget that 70 percent of the earth's surface is water," said Daniel Baden, Ph.D., Executive Principal of MARBIONC. "The ocean holds the key to renewable energy, environmentally friendly cosmetics, renewable seafood sources and even new treatments for diseases," adds Jeffrey Wright, Ph.D., Principal and Director of Research of MARBIONC.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, over 60 percent of the world's marine life is overfished or fished to capacity. The aquapreneurs at MARBIONC are cultivating black sea bass and southern flounder in on-shore tanks, creating a renewable food source that eliminates the destructive in-ocean farming practices that put harmful waste back into the environment. Farm-raising fish will mean that families around the world will be able to bring wholesome seafood to the table for generations to come.

These scientists also cultivate microorganisms in the lab for use in pharmaceutical research that will prevent future harvesting from the ocean. MARBIONC has the nation's largest collection of marine microorganisms whose land-based cousins account for 70 percent of all antibiotics in existence. Most recently, they patented a treatment for cystic fibrosis with a molecule derived from Florida Red Tide.

The scientists at MARBIONC hope that the tide will turn and awareness will build for preserving the world's oceans and coastlines. "Safeguarding the oceans will enhance scientists' abilities to make important discoveries in health, energy, and food," said Dr. Baden.

Located at the Center for Marine Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, MARBIONC identifies niche markets, assembles optimal teams and provides the necessary infrastructure to successfully bring marine biotech products and processes to market. For more information, visit http://www.uncw.edu/cmsr/marbionc.html.


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SOURCE MARBIONC
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