Can you imagine taking a pill that protects your skin from sun damage? That is what researchers at King's College in London are currently working on. They recently visited the Great Barrier Reef to conduct research into the matter. The idea stems from the relationship between coral reefs and algae. Algae that lives within coral creates a chemical that is transported to the coral that provides sun-shielding benefits. As coral is found in shallow water, this chemical is extremely important to prevent coral bleaching. They have also found that fish who feed on coral also benefit from similar UV protection.
The pill would not only protect human skin, but also eyes from harmful UV rays. Imagine a future where you no longer need to ask that creepy guy at the beach to lotion your back, all you need to do is take a pill. Not only would this discovery affect beach goers, but also those in third world countries. If researchers can recreate this chemical in laboratories, they will be able to bring it into the agriculture industry. This chemical would be put into crops to give the plants a higher UV tolerance, allowing them to thrive in tropical climates. Third world countries would benefit from this super plant, as the sun is too strong for an agriculture industry. Nutrient rich crops would be able to grow in places where before it was believed to be impossible, feeding millions who suffer from hunger and starvation. To think all of this stems from the symbiotic relationship between algae and coral. Something that serves as a home to thousands of species could soon save the lives of millions of people. Let's hope that this research proves to be successful, as coral could use all attention it can get as global warming becomes a serious threat to coral bleaching and reef destruction.
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