Sponges covered with treasure

Sponges are a general term for sponge animals, because the body has many holes, also known as porous animals. Sponges are not as square as SpongeBob in cartoons. They have a variety of shapes, including block, staghorn, lychee, fan, crater, and some sponges are just a thin film. , Randomly attached to the surface of the carapace of stones, crabs or shells. In addition, sponge animals are colorful, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, blue and purple.

From the appearance, sponge animals are immobile and resemble plants, but in fact, they can actively filter seawater to feed and obtain nutrients. The inner wall of the sponge animal has a lot of flagella. The rhythm of the flagella causes the water body to form a stream of water. The nutrients in the water stream such as bacteria, fine algae and various organic debris will be captured by the cells on the inner wall, and then the body’s waste will be discharged out of the body with the water stream. .

Unlimited medical value

In the 1950s, the American organic chemist Werner Bergman isolated the famous cytarabine and arabinosyl adenosine from a Caribbean sponge, which can interfere with the reproduction of white blood cells or viruses. Until now, these two drugs have played an important role in the treatment of acute leukemia and antiviral. Bergman’s discovery triggered a craze for the exploration of marine medicine, especially the medical research craze for sponges. In 1989, Japanese scientists isolated soft sponge sponge B from the Miura Peninsula sponge. This compound can prolong the life of leukemia mice by nearly three times. Until now, a total of about 40,000 natural active products have been found from marine organisms, of which about 1/4 are found from sponges, a considerable part of sponge natural active products have significant antiviral, antitumor and antibacterial activities. Therefore, The sponge is a very important treasure trove of marine medicine!

Bee sponge bone needle acts on the skin surface to open the skin channel

In addition to the compounds in the sponge, the bones of the sponge also have newly discovered medical value. For example, the bone needle that supports the sponge body can be applied to the pharmaceutical industry as a tool for conducting drugs. As we all know, injecting drugs with a needle often has to pierce the skin to administer drugs, which can cause a tingling sensation. The sponge bone needle is very small, the tip is fine, and the tip of the micron level acts on the skin to help open the micron-level skin channel, effectively conducts the drug to the body, not only does not produce a strong tingling sensation, but also assists to open Skin channels, effectively conduct drugs.

Spongy animal asexual propagation mode Sponge animal sexual reproduction mode

With the deepening of research, research scholars have found that these characteristics can be applied to medical research. For example, when a bath sponge scaffold is added when cultivating mammalian cells, the cells can not only adhere to the sponge skeleton, but also survive for a long time.

Farm sponges like potatoes

Sponges have a high value of medical research and development, so a large amount of sponge resources are needed to support them. However, over-exploitation of wild sponges will cause damage to the environment, so the effective way is artificial breeding. In the past 10 years, with the joint efforts of the sponge research team members of Xiamen University, we have realized large-scale artificial cultivation of sponges in the Dongshan sea area of ​​Fujian Province, and we have been able to obtain sponge resources above ton level every year.

We mainly use the characteristics of sponge animals to have strong self-repair ability by asexual proliferation, using a knife to cut a large sponge into small sponge tissue blocks, and then fixed on the breeding mold and hung in the sea. Small pieces of sponge tissue can be re-grown into new sponge individuals. Another ideal way is to collect the larvae naturally released by sponge animals and cultivate them into new sponge individuals. However, the breeding of sponges through this method of sexual reproduction is still only at a small-scale experimental stage. Therefore, people still use a method similar to planting potatoes to cut sponges into small pieces for large-scale farming.

Water purifier with high water filtration function

The body of the sponge has many holes, which can provide shelter, habitat and reproduction for many benthic animals, and improve the diversity of marine life-small fish will hide in the cavity of the sponge to avoid enemy damage, and shellfish will Spawn in the body. A fist-sized sponge may house dozens of benthic animals visible to the naked eye.

Scientists have discovered that the water filtered by a sponge a day is 72,000 times its own volume. Therefore, the powerful water filtering ability gives sponge animals another important ecological effect. When the seawater flows through the sponge body, a large amount of nutrient organics will be intercepted or absorbed by the sponge, and the cleaner water body will be discharged out of the body and returned to the ocean. This process not only satisfied the growth of the sponge itself, but also purified the water quality and promoted the good development of the environment. Recently, marine ecologists discovered the material cycle between sponges and corals, redefining the position of sponges in coral reef ecosystems. Scientists have discovered that sponges are indispensable in the areas where corals grow. The high water filtration capacity of the sponge can effectively transform the dissolved organic matter in the seawater into proliferating cells. After the sponge cells are shed, they become nutrients that can be used by the coral, thereby promoting the prosperity of the coral; the organic substances such as the mucus released by the coral It is also a food that can be used by sponges. This process of mutual circulation promotion constitutes the rich nutrition foundation of coral reefs.