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Sunscreen May Soon Be Available In Coral-Derived Pill Form

Great Barrier Reef coral

As a natural redhead, this is really good news.

Researchers at King’s College London have discovered a compound produced by coral that could be synthesized into a pill-form sunscreen. Yes, you heard correctly. Pill-form sunscreen! This is even more convenient than the spray sunscreen that reaches every corner of your body.

The researchers collected coral samples at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for analysis, finding that algae within coral creates a compound that is transported to the coral, which modifies it into a sunscreen that protects the coral and the algae.

It was already known among researchers that some types of coral and algae protect themselves from harsh UV rays by producing their own sunscreen, but they couldn’t pinpoint exactly how it was done. Thankfully, they discovered that algae and coral aren’t the only species that benefit from the compound. Fish who consume the coral also benefit from the sunscreen protection, which indicates it could be biosynthetically developed to create a sunscreen for human use that works in a similar way.

Researchers say this pill could be available within the next two years. Perhaps more controversially, researchers say it could also be used to genetically modify plants to repel harsh sunlight in developing countries where crops are increasingly affected by drought.

Would you take the sunscreen pill if it meant not having to apply sunscreen when out in the sun?

Via Discovery
Image CC licensed by Steve Evans: Great Barrier Reef, Australia

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