Research leader Gro Bjerga and Antonio García-Moyano. (Photo: Andreas R. Graven)
New and better animal feed products from protein-rich residual raw materials are being developed. The industry, however, lacks custom-made enzymes that break down bones efficiently. Researchers from Uni Research, in cooperation with international colleagues, are searching for solutions in the EU project ProBone. Research leader and biotechnologist Gro Bjerga at Uni Research in Bergen, Norway, is project coordinator of ProBone. Together with research colleagues in Germany, Spain and Romania she now intends to find the right enzymes that can do the job - and lay the foundations for new product development.
Creativity and innovation in the hunt for enzymes
So far there has been a lack of good enzymes that can break down hard materials such as bones. However, in the future thousands of tonnes of residual raw materials, that cannot be fully utilized today, can be processed into different types of animal feed with the help of new enzymes. By using enzymes to break down residual raw materials, they can be transformed into smaller peptides, which in turn can be processed into different products. "We must constantly explore the possibilities and be creative and innovative in the search for the best enzymes", Bjerga says. The search for enzymes takes place at the sea floor. This year Bjerga and her colleagues in Uni Research deposited bovine bones down to a 100 meters depth in the fjords outside Bergen. The researchers’ goal was to attract a small marine worm that digests bones. These worms, which are about 1 centimetre long, can only be caught when they settle on carcasses and bone remnants on the seabed and begin eating them.
Pubblicato uno studio rivoluzionario su Nature Geoscience
Ottenere cibo per 800 milioni di persone in più preservando le attuali modalità di produzione agricola, evitando grandi investimenti in nuove tecnologie e utilizzando circa il 15% di risorse idriche in meno. Un sogno? Sì, ma con delle basi solide che sono state appena pubblicate su Nature Geoscience nello studio “Increased food production and reduced water use through optimized crop distribution” (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-017-0004-5 ) a firma di un team composto da Columbia University, Politecnico di Milano e University of California at Berkeley. Nel prossimo futuro, a causa della crescita della popolazione e del miglioramento delle condizioni di vita, ci sarà bisogno di più cibo, fibre ed energia e, di conseguenza, di risorse naturali come terra e acqua. Le soluzioni ad oggi proposte prevedono l’intensificazione o l’estensificazione dell’agricoltura, con il risultante aumento nell’impiego di irrigazione e fertilizzazione nel primo caso e di terra nel secondo.
Picture: Violencia filio-maternal (Maternal abuse by children). Author: Louise A
Sandra Jiménez Arroyo, researcher at the University of Granada (UGR), explains the necessity of analyzing this kind of violence, which is the fourth most common crime committed by children, taking a gender perspective. Mothers are the main victims of parental abuse by children, so this kind of abuse should be legally considered as violence against women. That is the conclusion of a research paper written by Sandra Jiménez Arroyo as a result of her doctoral thesis, co-directed by UGR professors María José Jiménez Díaz from the Department of Criminal Law and Francisco Javier Garrido Carrillo from the Department of Procedural Law. Moreover, the researcher proposes alternative terms for this phenomenon, such as for example ‘maternal abuse by children’ instead of the accepted ‘parental abuse by children’, which hides the main victim.