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Turning the tide on antibiotic resistance: how seaweed can help us fight superbugs of the future

Turning the tide on antibiotic resistance: how seaweed can help us fight superbugs of the future

Foods like seaweeds have been used as natural medicines for thousands of years, and Teagasc is exploring the potential of seaweed to kill bacteria that can live in our food or infect our hospitals.

Antibacterial chemicals from seaweed are particularly important in recent years, as many standard antibiotic (bacteria-killing) medicines have stopped working due to bacteria evolving to become resistant to them.

Teagasc researchers are studying the Irish seaweed, kelp, to analyse the potential for this seaweed to kill bacteria, and compounds from it could potentially be used in the future as an antibiotic medicine for an infection. This research is vitally important to protect against a future where 'superbugs' (bacteria which have evolved to survive against all antibiotic medicines) will be a huge danger for humans.

Meet the Teagasc scientists Ailbhe McGurrin and Leon Maughan today (Friday, 13/1/23) who will be at the Teagasc stand to explain more about this research.

You will get to see some seaweed samples, examples of what bacteria look like, antimicrobial seaweed extracts, do some experiments, and find out some of our latest research results.

We invite you to visit the Teagasc stand at the 2023 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), which takes place January 12-14 at the RDS, Dublin.

We will have a range of hands-on displays throughout the exhibition covering a range of science topics: soils, food safety, ash dieback disease, human digestion, milk sugars, cheese, superbugs, robotics, functional foods from waste, biocontrol of plant pathogens, aphid vectors and potato diseases.

Teagasc Education staff will be on-hand each day to answer any of your queries on education opportunities at Teagasc.

This year, 550 projects from 212 schools from across the island of Ireland will represent their schools in the BTYSTE.

Teagasc sponsors a special award at the event. The Teagasc prize is awarded to the project that best demonstrates a thorough understanding of the science of agricultural or food production, or the use of science to improve technologies available to agricultural or food production.

Visit the Teagasc stand in the exhibition hall W19 in the World of Science and Technology (Hall 4 – Industries Hall).

Book your ticket for this exciting event today by visiting https://btyoungscientist.com/. Follow the event on social media #BTYSTE2023