Kelp Phlorotannins: Sunscreen and Boat Paint

Nature is subtle, and we often miss what is right in front of us. It is fun for me when someone recognizes a little thing, pulls the thread, and unravels a complex mystery of biology that I have stared at several times and never noticed. Just like Vaishali Kiran Grover, who at the ripe old age of 14 discovered papaya enzymes can prevent barnacles growing on boats. A world away, Elisabet Brock in her PhD dissertation from Göteborg University in Sweden has made headlines indicating that the phlorotannins produced by kelp also keep barnacles at bay, as well as provide a sunscreen for parched kelp during low tide (and maybe even other animals who live with the kelp-it is all about teamwork after all). Through mimicking these chemical discoveries (biomimicry) we should be able to come up with a non-toxic boat paint- and we also may end up with a new moisturizing sunscreen to boot. ::Elisabet Brock Thesis Abstract (PDF) ::Expert Answer

Tags: Biomimicry

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