Norwegian bacteria provides the key to new super sunscreen

Science, Tech Digest news

sunburn-sucks.jpgIf, like me, you’ve been cursed with skin so pale that simply stepping outdoors on a sunny day transforms you into a red walking man-lobster within minutes, this latest scientific innovation in the world of sunscreen could be the answer to your “I want to go on holiday in Barbados” prayers.

According to ScienceDaily, Norwegian researchers have uncovered a microorganisim living in Trondheim Fjord with incredible skin-protecting properties.

Micrococcus luteus, to give the bacteria its Latin name, possesses a carotenoid known to organic chemists as sarcinaxanthin that can absorb long-wavelength UV radiation in the range 350-475 nanometres – the same sort of radiation that causes skin cancer and malignant melanomas. By extension, it’s also a superb sunscreen, protecting from burns on hot summer days.

After some “tricky genetic engineering”, a commercially viable substance called UVAblue was synthesised, which is now in the process of being produced on a mass scale for inclusion in as-yet-undecided sunscreens. Norwegian company Promar AS has the patents for the substance, discovered with the help of researchers at SINTEF.

In other news, manufacturers of aftersun products the world over weep following the discovery of a new Norwegian bacteria that provides…

Gerald Lynch
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