UK Scientists Attempt To Copy Coral Sunscreen Secrets

image: digital-reefs

As part of a three-year project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), a team of researchers at King’s College London are investigating the genetic and biochemical processes behind how tropical reefbuilding coral species produce ‘sunscreen’ compounds, with the ultimate aim of recreating them synthetically for use in developing sun protection.

Recently, the King’s team collected coral samples for analysis from the Great Barrier Reef, in collaboration with renowned experts in the field, Dr Walter Dunlap from the Australian Institute for Marine Science and Prof Malcolm Shick from the University of Maine USA.

As well as benefitting humans, such research could lead to valuable insights into coral bleaching events, and may even enable to the development of UV resistant crops that could alleviate food shortages in areas with harsh climates. 

Read more HERE