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Fishy tales: Your next sunscreen could be a cream made from salmon DNA

It’s not just a tasty fish, a cream made from the DNA of salmon has been found to protect the skin from ultraviolet light.

health Updated: Jul 27, 2017 14:03 IST
The more exposure to the sun, the more the cream protects the skin. (Shutterstock)

American scientists have developed a film from the DNA of salmon which can help protect the skin from ultraviolet light, say reports. The more exposure to the sun, the more it protects the skin. It also locks in moisture beneath the surface, which is usually lost during tanning.

“Ultraviolet (UV) light can damage DNA, and that’s not good for the skin,” said Dr Guy German, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Binghamton University, New York, adding, “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.”

The film was made from a mixture of the DNA from salmon sperm, water and ethanol and sheets were made of a transparent crystalline material. The second skin was derived from the DNA of salmon sperm. The more the researchers exposed the film to UV light, the better the film got at absorbing it. “If you use this as a topical cream or sunscreen, the longer that you stay out on the beach, the better it gets at being a sunscreen,” said Dr German.

The DNA coating can also hold water much more than uncoated skin. When applied to skin, it is capable of slowing water evaporation and keeping the tissue hydrated for an extended period. The scientists also want to test whether the material can be used for wound covering. The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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First Published: Jul 27, 2017 14:02 IST