Drugs, Dressings, Diagnostics

Many medications and diagnostic agents are derived from proteins, hormones, and other chemical compounds in marine plants and animals. In a few cases, parts of the organisms themselves are used therapeutically.

Remedies, Rumors, Cures

The oldest medical texts--Chinese, Egyptian, and Roman--indicate that marine algae, fish, and invertebrates have been prescribed for thousands of years. Folk medicines are often thought to work through a combination of supernatural and physical forces, and many remedies do have real therapeutic value. §

Research Subjects

Some marine organisms serve science not as the raw materials of medications, but in the lab. As the subjects of basic research, they have pointed to entirely new understandings of biology and new types of treatments. §

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)