Stockholm, Sweden.- In a study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on the potential for future marine aquaculture development, centre researchers Max Troell, Malin Jonell and Patrik Henriksson comment on research findings suggesting that only a small fraction of the world’s ocean space would be sufficient for meeting growing future seafood demand through marine aquaculture (mariculture).

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By Lindsay Brownell, The Wyss Institute*
Cambridge, USA.- It all began with a bet at a conference in Italy in 2013. Nicolas Vogel, Ph.D., then a postdoctoral fellow in Joanna Aizenberg’s lab at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, gave a talk about the group’s Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIPS) coatings, which promised to prevent nearly anything from adhering to structures to which they were applied. In the audience was Ali Miserez, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) specializing in biological materials who approached Vogel after the presentation and said confidently, “I bet mussels will stick to your coatings, because I still have yet to see a surface that they won’t attach to.”

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Swiss.- The mercury found at very low concentrations in water is concentrated along the entire food chain, from algae via zooplankton to small fish and on to the largest fish — the ones we eat. Mercury causes severe and irreversible neurological disorders in people who have consumed highly contaminated fish. Whereas we know about the element’s extreme toxicity, what happens further down the food chain, all the way down to those microalgae that are the first level and the gateway for mercury? By employing molecular biology tools, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has addressed this question for the first time. The scientists measured the way mercury affects the gene expression of algae, even when its concentration in water is very low, comparable to European environmental protection standards. Find out more about the UNIGE research in Scientific Reports.

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Bremen, Germany.- Fish fraud, the misrepresentation of cheaper fish as more expensive ones, is a rampant problem worldwide. Now in a study appearing ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists report that they are making strides toward the development of a protein database capable of definitively identifying fish species. This information could help nab imposters of salmon, tuna and other popular fish before they reach people’s plates.

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USA.- Covering 70 percent of Earth’s surface, the world’s oceans are vast and deep. So vast, in fact, that nearly every coastal country has the potential to meet its own domestic seafood needs through aquaculture, and each country could do so using a tiny fraction of its ocean territory. So finds a study from the Science for Nature and People Partnership's (SNAPP) Sustainable Aquaculture working group, led by scientists from UC Santa Barbara and NCEAS, and including researchers from the Nature Conservancy, UCLA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Their research, published August 14th in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, demonstrates the oceans’ potential to support aquaculture. Also known as fish farming, the practice is the fastest-growing food sector and poised to address increasing issues of food insecurity around the globe.

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