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.

Photo: Reuters

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)










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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