Salinas Bras del Port: An ecosystem of enormous interest for science

Perhaps you have heard of the CRISPR method or have recently read about the discovery of an anti-tumor pigment. What do these two scientific breakthroughs have in common? Both have arisen from the waters of Bras del Port, a hundred-year-old sea saltworks nestled in the Salinas de Santa Pola Natural Park (Alicante). The microscopic life of the sea saltworks The coastal salt pans are salty wetlands rich in biodiversity that are the ideal home for hundreds of species. Bras del Port is an example of salt mining where the work of man coexists in harmony with nature in a unique symbiosis where both help each other. Although flamingos are the best-known inhabitants of these natural settings, microscopic life is also present and holds secrets that science is trying to unravel. Examples of this are halophilic microorganisms (organisms that live in extremely saline environments) and, more specifically, haloarchaea, such as the species known scientifically by the name of Haloferax mediterranei, which has been the subject of numerous investigations. The CRISPR method of gene editing The microbiologist from Elche, Francis Mojica, from the University of Alicante (UA), discovered in 2005 some repetitive sequences in the DNA of Haloferax mediterranei and coined the [...]

2023-07-18T13:37:27+02:0018 July, 2023|History, Science and technology|Comments Off on Salinas Bras del Port: An ecosystem of enormous interest for science
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