Sun, Aug 13, 2017 - Page 9 News List

Scientists find sunscreen potential in Antarctic plants
南極植物具特殊分子 可望應用於防曬產品

Doctor Gustavo Zuniga holds up an Antarctic plant that has molecules that filter the solar radiation in Santiago, Chile on July 25.
古斯塔夫‧朱尼卡博士手持一種可透過其特殊分子過濾太陽輻射的南極植物,七月二十五日攝於智利聖地牙哥。

Photo: Reuters
照片:路透社

Scientists in Chile have discovered molecules in two species of Antarctic flowers able to protect the plants from solar radiation. These could potentially be used in products such as sunscreen for humans, and as protection for vulnerable crops.

Researchers at the University of Santiago investigating the Antarctic plants grown under controlled conditions found that Colobanthus quitensis (pearlwort) and Deschampsia antarctica (hair grass) could tolerate high levels of ultraviolet radiation.

According to the British Antarctic Survey, these are the only two flowering plants found in the icy polar region, growing around its more temperate edges.

The scientists have identified a group of molecules in the flowers, particularly Colobanthus, that acts as a solar filter and prevents radiation damage, said project leader Gustavo Zuniga.

The university is seeking commercial partners to develop spin-off products from the research.

“It could be used in the not too distant future,” he said. “For example, for a crop that doesn’t tolerate increasing levels of radiation, that genetic information could be used to make the crop respond better.”

Natural sunscreens or creams could also be developed incorporating the molecules, he added.(Reuters)

智利科學家發現南極有兩種開花植物,因具有特殊的分子,不會受到太陽輻射的傷害。科學家希望將這種分子應用於研發防曬霜相關產品及保護脆弱的作物。

聖地牙哥大學研究團隊透過栽培南極漆姑草和南極髮草發現,這兩種植物能夠承受高強度紫外線輻射。

根據英國南極勘測計畫的資料,這兩種植物為冰封的南極地區僅有的開花植物,生長在南極圈較溫暖的邊緣。

研究負責人朱尼卡說,這些植物有一種分子群,可過濾太陽輻射,以避免曬傷,其中又以南極漆姑草的過濾能力較強。

聖地牙哥大學現在正在招募商業夥伴,希望利用此項發現再研發出新的衍生產品。

朱尼卡說:「也許不久以後,我們就能應用這項發現。比方說,某些作物無法承受增強的輻射,或許就能利用這種遺傳信息進行改善。」

他並指出,這種植物的分子也可用來研發天然防曬霜或具有防曬功能的乳液。

(台北時報編譯涂宇安譯)

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. molecule

n. 分子

(fen1 zi3)

2. sunscreen

n. 防曬霜

(fang2 shai4 shuang1)

3. ultraviolet

adj. 紫外線的

(zi3 wai4 xian4)

4. spin-off

adj. 衍生的

(yan3 sheng1 de5)


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