The Minister of Defense, Jorge Menéndez informed that the procedure discovered by researchers from the Faculty of Sciences will be registered in order to produce on industrial scale the enzyme that repairs DNA damaged by solar radiation generated by a microorganism. It will be the first time that a finding in Antarctica is patented by Uruguay and, for the minister, “it should be a source of pride for the country,” he said.
The president of the Uruguayan Antarctic Institute (IAU), Daniel Núñez, and the Rector of the University of the Republic (Udelar), Roberto Markarian, signed on Tuesday an agreement that initiates the procedures to patent the extraction procedure of the enzyme that generates an Antarctic microorganism with capacity to repair DNA damaged by the effects of solar radiation.
Menéndez stressed the importance of the agreement. “Patenting the discovery of Uruguayan scientists in Antarctica should be a source of pride for the entire country,” he said, referring to the project “Research of bacterial photoliases of Antarctic origin, recombinant production and the study of their pharmaceutical and cosmetic potential” .
He highlighted the interinstitutional work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Housing, Land Planning and Environment in the so-called Interministerial Working Group for Antarctic Affairs. “We must rescue these instances, which are part of the present and the future, framed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations (UN),” he said.
“This project has great value for all the citizens of the country, this is the road and we are proud to be part of it,” Menéndez reiterated.