Sunscreen Pill: Natural UV Blockers Found in Australian Coral

australia's barrier reef - sky viewScientists at King's College London believe that a pill that can protect humans from damaging ultraviolet radiation is about five years away.  Tropical coral found on Australia's Great Barrier Reef contains natural UV blockers.  Researchers are trying to unravel the biochemical secrets of the chemicals present in the coral by collecting samples during night dives. 

It is believed that algae living within the coral makes a compound that is transported to the coral which then modifies it into a sunscreen.  Additionally, researchers have noted that fish that feed on the coral also benefited from the sunscreen, demonstrating that the protection can be passed up the food chain. 

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Source ABC News and King's College London

Published on 09/01/2011 | Last updated on 12/20/2016