While this is very exciting news for science and human health, I am a little hesitant to sing these findings from the mountaintops just yet. I have some reservations about harvesting drugs from corals, and perhaps this is simply because I don't have enough scientific information about the subject. How are these chemicals harvested from coral? Does the harvesting of corals for drugs damage the marine ecosystem? Is there current regulation of who should and should not have access to the harvesting of corals? How can we ensure that pharmaceutical companies also have a stake in a healthy ocean environment?
Perhaps this is, in fact, a win-win situation for all. Many coral conservation organizations, such as, Too Precious to Wear, highlight the antibiotic-producing capability of coral as an important reason why we should preserve coral in its natural environment and not incorporate natural coral as a part of our wardrobe or in our home decorations. A quick search of the internet did not show this issue to be too highly contentious or polarized: most of the articles that I came across were positive and hopeful.
How to you feel about using corals to develop pharmaceuticals? Is this is a good thing or a bad thing? Do you have any news or journal articles on this topic that you would be able to share?
Comments are welcome!