Possible Sunscreen Tablet From Coral

Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world. This is because the population of this country is composed mainly of fair-skinned northern Europeans and Australia is very hot in summer. Despite advertising campaigns citing the dangers of sun bathing men still go around with no shirts and women bake in their back gardens or at the beach. If only people could take a pill to stop skin cancer.

Tests on a coral indicate that a tablet to prevent eye and skin damage from exposure to the sun may be within reach. The coral contains natural UV blockers. Though the coral is on the Australian Great Barrier reef, research is being done by the British government. Paul Long of King's College London is taking samples from Acropora microphthalma coral on night dives. Walter Dunlap of the Australian Institute for Marine Science noticed the attribute in 1986.

While the coral contains the UV protector, a base chemical is created by algae living nearby. The coral absorbs this chemical converting it into a natural sunscreen. Both the algae and coral benefit from the UV blocker as well as fish that feed on the coral. If fish are protected by eating the coral, humans could also benefit from consuming the coral or more practically by imbibing the UV blocking chemical. It is hoped that it will be possible to develop a synthetic version as the coral is endangered.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .