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Study Of Coral May Lead To Sunburn Pill

463px-Coral_Garden

Photo: Richard Ling (CC)

What happened to remembering to apply sunscreen? The Bangkok Post reports:

The research team hope within the next two years to test a compound based on one which shields coral against harmful ultraviolet rays.

“We already knew that coral and some algae can protect themselves from the harsh UV rays in tropical climates by producing their own sunscreens but, until now, we didn?t know how,” said Dr Paul Long, head of the team.

“What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae.

“Not only does this protect them both from UV damage, but we have seen that fish that feed on the coral also benefit from this sunscreen protection, so it is clearly passed up the food chain,” the King’s team leader added.

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