Country: Italy


Venue: Napoli, via Pietro Castellino, 111 – Sala Conferenze e Laboratori / Online

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“Normal is passé, extreme is chic”, as Lynn J. Rothschild and Rocco L. Mancinelli of NASA said a few years ago.

The discovery of extreme environments and organisms that thrive in them (“extremophiles”) has had a strong impact on science, giving a huge boost in various fields of knowledge, from basic research on the origin of life to innovative disciplines such as astrobiology (life outside the Earth).

Undoubtedly, extremophilic microorganisms represent an impressive “treasure chest” of new proteins and enzymes, and their associated studies have pushed reaction conditions to the boundaries of pH, temperature, pressure, hitherto thought to be destructive to biological macromolecules.

Archaea often populate terrestrial environments characterized by extreme chemical-physical parameters. The discovery of these organisms has broadened our knowledge on the limits of life and has allowed the development of innovative biotechnologies thanks to the characteristics of their biomolecules. Their enzymes have great potential for use in second and third generation biorefineries for a circular bioeconomy.

Antarctica represents a natural laboratory for the study of the evolutionary adaptations of the species that live there and of the climatic changes that have influenced polar marine biodiversity. The extreme environment has selected unique organisms capable of surviving low temperatures and capable of producing molecules with potential biotechnological applications.

The IBBR-CNR laboratory of extracellular vesicles and mass spectrometry will show the latest results obtained in the VES4US European H2020 FETOpen and greenEV MSCA projects concerning the production of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a new generation of nanovectors, obtained from green resources. EVs are complex biomaterials that are efficiently absorbed by recipient cells. These innovative nanomaterials obtained from plants and algae can be used for the transport of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and cosmaceutics.