The future is coral! Yes, one happy day there will be no more black, white, brown, and yellow. An end to racism. And no more gingers, with their flammable skins.
No, we won’t all be Tango-ed Oompa-Loompa orange. Not that sort of “coral.”
But rather, we will all be beautifully brightly multi-coloured. Each and every single one of us. United in one great big gorgeous vibrant rainbow.
If we’re really lucky and The Boffins sort Things out properly, we’ll also have chromatophores, bioluminesce, and generally be as cool as it possible for a living creature to be. That second stage might take a bit longer, though.
News fresh in from Australia: home of corals, coolness, extreme sun, high rates of skin-cancer, and urgent needs both for protecting humans from sun and for protecting a fragile ecosystem (from, amongst others, humans and some of their sunscreens).
Featuring bonus Jamie Oliver appearance! That chap really does get around…
THE SHORT VERSION
News @ CSIRO
“Barrier reef corals deliver world first for sunscreen”
Posted: July 30, 2013 | Author: Simon Hunter
Slapping on a hat and slopping on sunscreen is about as Aussie as it gets. But thanks to a breakthrough we’ve just announced, sunscreen is about to get a whole lot more ‘straylian.
We’ve been working with natural skincare company Larissa Bright Australia to develop UV filters inspired by corals from the barrier reef. Our scientists have adapted the corals’ natural sunscreen and improved it so it can be used as an ingredient in sunscreen lotion.
What we have achieved is a compound which in just one molecule is resistant to both UVA and UVB radiation. The filters are clear in colour, virtually odourless and very stable which means they can be easily incorporated into any cream emulsion.
We think it will be about five years before the first ‘barrier reef’ creams hit the market, but it’s safe to say the sun has a new anemone.
THE VIDEO CLIP!
THE LONG VERSION
“Barrier reef corals deliver world first for sunscreen”
CSIRO, in partnership with skincare company Larissa Bright Australia, has created the world’s first UVA/UVB sunscreen filters which mimic the natural sun protection used by corals on the Great Barrier Reef.
30 July 2013
The breakthrough paves the way for a new generation of sunscreens which harness the same protective barriers developed by Australia’s Great Barrier Reef corals over millions of years to survive in the harsh Australian sun.
The new UV filters are resistant to both UVA and UVB rays and are clear and colourless which means they can be used in any cream emulsion.
CSIRO scientists have spent the last two years adapting the coral’s sunscreen code so that it can be safely used as an ingredient in human sunscreen. The coral’s sunscreen was improved to create a suite of 48 new sunscreen filters.
The research builds on work by scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) who were the first to discover the natural sun screening ability of coral on the Great Barrier Reef.
Larissa Bright Australia, in partnership with AIMS, studied the results of over 20 years of AIMS research into how shallow-water corals protect themselves from UV light before approaching CSIRO.
“We wanted to find a way to convert this natural method of coping with exposure to the intensive UV rays from Queensland’s sunshine, into a safe and effective sunscreen for human use,” Larissa Bright, Company Director of Larissa Bright Australia said.
“We feel these filters will set a new standard in broad spectrum sunscreen. They mimic the natural sunscreen coral has developed and used over millions of years.” she adds.
CSIRO Research Scientist Dr Mark York, who led the research project in conjunction with Senior Research Scientist Dr Jack Ryan, said: “The molecular make up of the coral’s natural sunscreen filter was quite complex, but the real challenge was modifying it so that it was resistant to both UVA and UVB radiation in one molecule which is what makes these filters so unique.
“The filters are clear in colour, virtually odourless and very stable which makes them easy to be incorporated into any emulsion,” he adds.
AIMS Research Director Dr Jamie Oliver is very pleased to see their research used as the foundation for this exciting development. “This is another example of AIMS researchers providing the science to underpin the use of Australia’s tropical marine resources in an innovative and beneficial manner,” he said.
The broad spectrum coral sunscreen filters are expected to be available to consumers across the globe within five years. The research conducted by CSIRO was part of Enterprise Connect’s Researcher in Business Program which places scientists into industry to assist Australian research and development projects.
About Larissa Bright Australia
Larissa Bright Australia is a natural skincare company based in Townsville, Queensland. The new sunscreens are a patent pending technology. The global sunscreen market is valued at over 6 billion US dollars per year. The company is now looking for a commercial partner to incorporate the new technology and bring the compounds into full scale production. For more information about Larissa Bright Australia visit: www.larissabright.com.au .
The funders of this research:
- the Australian Institute of Marine Science: you’ll see there (do a search) that research on sun-resistance in coral goes back quite a way, with lots of publications (and that’s just from researchers associated with the Institute), back to 1992. Given the time from the start of the design of an experiment, through its running, to its end, the collection of data, its synthesis, and writing up… all of which happened a fair while before publication… this is research that’s been going on for a fair long while.
- and the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
HANG ON, CORAL AND SUNSCREEN? THAT RINGS A BELL…
Yes: this is the next stage of what was reported here, amongst the odds and sods in an eclectic collection (2011-09-30); same Commonwealth massive multinational joint research project; kind of the academic version of an MMO game…
Old news now, had this item stashed away when it first came up at the end of August:
- King’s College London, press release: “Coral could be used to create sunscreens“
Also, less directly:
- BBC News – Coral could hold key to sunscreen pill
- The Daily Mail: Coral sunscreen pill: One tablet equals weeks of protection
- News.com.au: UK scientists using coral for ‘sunscreen pill’ that gives weeks of protection
- Sydney Morning Herald: Coral shows way to sunburn pill
- Science Daily: Topical coral could be used to create novel sunscreens for human use, say scientists
and less directly again:
and old when someone on MUA finally caught up (probably c/o the Daily Fail, one of the myriad who copy-pasted the release… ):
“Slapping on a hat and slopping on sunscreen is about as Aussie as it gets” (in the News @ CSIRO short piece) references this great classic of Australiana and sun protection, still a Gold Standard: