News

The cancer fighting properties of sea snails

Southern Cross University's Dr Kirsten Benkendorff investigating the medicinal properties of a family of sea snails.
Southern Cross University's Dr Kirsten Benkendorff investigating the medicinal properties of a family of sea snails.

THE medicinal properties of sea snails, which contain cancer fighting compounds, will be the focus of a workshop at Southern Cross University this week.

The Muricidae family of sea snails contain cancer fighting properties and are also used in India to treat gynaecological problems.

So a team of scientists from around Australia and India will meet to strategically develop a collaborative research project to scientifically test and optimise the medicines from the predatory sea snail.

"Marine molluscs from the Muricidae family are the source for a natural remedy called Murex," said Dr Kirsten Benkendorff of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University's School of Environment, Science and Engineering.

"The Murex remedy and tincture is currently used to treat a range of gynaecological problems in India, but has never been scientifically tested for efficacy.

As part of this week's workshop, running through to Friday, scientists will investigate the development of natural medicines from the Muricidae sea snails.

Researchers will visit Southern Cross University's National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour, the university's Lismore campus along with the Bribie Island Marine Station. 

"This workshop will capitalise on the expertise in preclinical and clinical testing of complementary and alternative medicines at Southern Cross University and build on recent research into the biological activity of Muricidae natural products at Flinders University," Dr Benkendorff said.

"It is very exciting to be involved in a workshop like this to find out specifically what other people have been using Muricidae for in other countries like India.

"They have used Muricidae as a last resort before surgery on patients suffering from a prolapsed uterus.

"It's also listed for use against uterine cancer.

"Why I am excited is that I've been researching Australian Muricidae and their cancer fighting properties for the past 10 years and I know how difficult it can be to get a new anti-cancer agent nationally accepted like this.

"But now there is an international precedent for use and they have been using it as a tincture (undiluted remedy) so we should be able to detect if any of the same bioactive compounds are present in the Indian remedy," she said.

Topics:  national marine science centre, southern cross university



Foursome reckons it's just the ticket

STANDING: Ray Smith, Cr Keith Rhoades, George Cecato and Martin Wells will contest the Coffs Harbour City Council election on the ticket Coffs Coast First.

First ticket announced for the Coffs Harbour City Council election

Bello Turtle Festival on soon

TURTLE TIME: The Bellingen Turtle Festival is fast approaching.

Bello Turtle Festival on soon

Wheelie good offer for community gardens

Woolgoolga Regional Community Gardens has received generous donations from the local Lions Club and Mitre 10.

Woolgoolga Regional Community Gardens has received more donations

Latest deals and offers

Kristen Bell's baby confession

Kristen Bell once pretended to be asleep when her baby woke up early

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

Mum driver heroically ignores hilarious lip-syncing son

Hilarious moves while Mum concentrates on the road.

IF IT takes a village to raise a child, why aren't they driving?

Twitter adds dancing David Brent emoji

Ricky Gervais's character has its own emoji now

Cyndi Lauper opens up about mother's dementia

Cyndi Lauper says her mother Catrine has "a little dementia".

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

A home rich in history looking for a new owner

HISTORY: The circa 1920s home is being sold for the first time in 90 years.

Circa 1920s home being sold for the first time in 90 years