News24

SA seaweed may hold cancer cure

2011-06-23 08:27

Durban - East London pharmacy owner Michael Knott's research into seaweed has shown anti-cancer activity on breast cancer cells, the Dispatch Online reported.

Knott has been invited to present his research and findings to the 7th European Conference on Marine Natural Products in Sweden in August this year.

"I’m excited about the conference and about meeting people within the field and networking with them, and hopefully this will generate a lot of interest in what we are doing in South Africa," he said.

"South Africa is a great place to achieve a lot within research, and even though there are better facilities or equipment overseas, we can achieve a lot with our great natural resources and universities."

Knott is studying for his doctorate in marine natural product chemistry at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, where he has discovered new types of compounds within South African seaweed with good anti-cancer activity on breast cancer cells.

According to the National Cancer Registry, one in 29 women in SA is diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 3 000 women die from breast cancer in SA each year.

Knott credited the team for the research, in particular his supervisor, Dr Denzil Beukes of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Rhodes University.

Comments
  • Jason - 2011-06-23 09:36

    We need to Nationalize the seaweed now!

      jweer42 - 2011-06-23 09:41

      Yeah, why not the brains behind the research as well? :p

      Phil K - 2011-06-23 09:51

      Why stop at nationalising the seaweed? we should nationalise the entire ocean before they find cures for other diseases in some other creature under the sea! On n serious note, good luck Mr Knott. I hope your research proves successful. Back to a less serious note again, bring back some of those Swedish models and test your research on them... We'll be glad to help!

      Other Justin - 2011-06-24 12:46

      Not enough! We should nationalise our oceans, so that anything found in them can belong to and be managed by the cANCer!!

  • Joy - 2011-06-23 09:42

    oh crap - now they are going to start exploiting the oceans for seaweed!

  • TheRealist - 2011-06-23 11:03

    Time to sink your ships and start a seaweed-farm!

  • mac5079 - 2011-06-23 14:13

    The article and comments makes me think of this: http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1174

  • CrankyRambo - 2011-06-23 15:11

    I cringe. This sounds like an eager PhD student getting a bit excited about his research. No comment from his supervisor? No reference to peer reviewed journal article? No details given other than seaweed may cure cancer? Appalling journalism. Journalists need to be far more responsible before writing articles such as this. It makes our scientific community look like fools when this is proven to be just hot air. I hope this is not the case.

      daaivark - 2011-06-23 15:19

      Sure, but he has been invited to present his findings at a presigious conference, which would not happen if there were not some basis for interest. Also they do name the institution (known for marine research) as well as the suprvisor, should anyone feel inclined to check. Methinks you are being demanding. This is a news item, not a monograph.

      CrankyRambo - 2011-06-23 15:49

      You may well be right but invited to a conference doesn't take much - all you need to do is submit a proposal. You aren't required to have published your results yet. In fact it's common for students to present at conferences to allow peers to blast holes in their research before going through the pain of writing a paper and having it rejected. I've experienced poor journalism like this first hand where a student invited a journalist to a group talk and next thing there was a report of the cure for Aids in the newspaper. So I'm very wary of this sort of thing. The jounalist should have provided more detail in my opinion. Apologies for preaching :-)

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