This health video looks into finding treatments from the sea to cure many illnesses.
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Jennifer Matthews: Every day, Oceanographer Robert Bidigare makes this trek across Hawaii's Kaneohe Bay to get to work. What he's working on could change the future of medicine. Robert Bidigare: Most of the existing drugs on the market are losing their effectiveness. Many of these are derived from soil bacteria. So, we feel that the ocean is a new place to look for miracle drugs. Jennifer Matthews: More than one million microorganisms fill every milliliter of seawater. Each one could lead to a life-saving treatment for some of our deadliest diseases. Robert Bidigare: I find it pretty exciting because it will have some very tangible deliverables, and it's great to be able to give back to society. Jennifer Matthews: Many marine organisms are already in development to benefit humans. Bryozoans, gastropods and sponges work against cancer. Marine fungus is an anti-inflammatory, and sea whips fight tuberculosis. Mike Rapeé uncovers new microorganisms on a weekly basis. Mike Rapeé: There's some relevant medical application of some of these microorganisms; I'm sure of it. Jennifer Matthews: Back in the lab, when a microorganism shows activity against a disease like cancer, it's sent out for intense study. Mike Rapeé: It's a wonderful feeling to be discovering things that no one has ever looked at before. Jennifer Matthews: With so much left to uncover, Rapeé and Bidigare look forward to the day with the microorganisms lurking here, improve human health worldwide. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.