Salmon sperm as a sun­block?

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

FOR those sick of re-ap­ply­ing sun­screen in the sum­mer there may soon be a bet­ter so­lu­tion, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

Sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered sun­block made from DNA that acts as a sec­ond skin to pro­tect from dan­ger­ous UV rays.

Sun­screen wears off as time passes, catch­ing peo­ple un­aware or forc­ing them to slather it on again. But this new so­lu­tion gets bet­ter at de­flect­ing harm­ful UV light the longer you wear it, ac­cord­ing to the US re­searchers who tested it.

It is DNA which gets dam­aged when peo­ple are sun­burnt, so re­searchers tried adding an ex­tra layer on the skin to ab­sorb the rays in­stead.

Co-au­thor of the study, Dr Guy Ger­man of Bing­ham­ton Univer­sity, said, “Ul­tra­vi­o­let light can ac­tu­ally dam­age DNA, and that’s not good for the skin. We thought, let’s flip it. What hap­pens in­stead if we ac­tu­ally used DNA as a sac­ri­fi­cial layer so, in­stead of dam­ag­ing DNA within the skin, we dam­age a layer on top of the skin.”

As well as get­ting bet­ter at ab­sorb­ing UV light over time, the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Sci­en­tific Re­ports, found that the so­lu­tion also acted as a mois­turiser.

How­ever, the sun­block won’t ap­peal to ev­ery­body be­cause of its in­gre­di­ents. The mix­ture tested by re­searchers used DNA from salmon sperm com­bined with al­co­hol and wa­ter.

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