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From under the sea to under the ground. How can we use bacteria to extract valuable compounds from seaweed? Can we put the ancient past into colour? Join us at Liberty Bar for talks on ancient fossils and the future of pharma products from seaweed.
Maureen Wada Ihua (PhD Candidate in Microbiology, UCC)
Seaweeds are great and awesome. They have beneficial health effects and generate huge revenue in the pharmaceutical industries. The global seaweed market was valued at $4,097.93 million in 2017. However, the bioactive compounds such as ascophyllan, laminarin and fucoidan, which make them so interesting can be very hard to extract. Maureen Wada Ihua is using bacteria as an alternative eco-friendly and more effective method of increasing the extraction yield of seaweed bioactive compounds so that we can continue solving the problems which seaweeds solve and make more money.
Soft Tissue Fossils: From Squishy to Stone
Dr Thomas Clements (Post-Doctoral Researcher in Palaeobiology, UCC)
We’ve all seen fossils – dinosaur skeletons, woolly mammoths or ancient giant shells. These are really useful for understanding ancient life, but are only part of the story. Some fossils, even though they are millions of years old, still have skin, muscles, internal organs and even eyeballs! Normally, these tissues rot away really quickly, but in some fossils the squishy parts of the animal turn to stone. It’s my job to work out how these tissues can survive for so long, so come to my talk and find out how I use disgusting and stinking rotten fish experiments to discover how fossils form!
Animal Colour through Deep Time
Why do animals use colour? In this talk learn about the colours of modern and ancient animals, how we detect traces of colour in fossils, and what this tells us about how animals communicated with each other millions of years ago.