Sunsmart fish?

September 10, 2016

 

Ever wonder why you’ve never seen a fish with a peeling nose? As it turns out, they can produce their own sunscreen.

 

Anyone who has ever spent a summer afternoon lobbing lures on the flats would know that the sun can be pretty unrelenting…Fascinatingly, in their effort to protect themselves against harmful UV radiation many small marine organisms including algae, fungi, bacteria and some marine invertebrates have evolved to produce a UV-protective compound called gladusol. And recently scientists from Oregon in the United States discovered that fish have the ability to produce the sunscreen too.

 

Resarchers are already looking into how we can pinch this evolutionary hack and apply it to literally save our own skin … So far they have managed to produce genetically engineered yeast containing the fish gene that can secrete gladusol.

 

Pretty soon we may be able to slap on a naturally produced sunscreen while we wander the flats stalking the critters that produced it…

 

For more information:

https://elifesciences.org/content/4/e05919

 

 

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CONTACT DETAILS
Recfishing Research Executive Officer
Owen Li
e: owenl@uow.edu.au

p: 0413148222

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