Explore the health and wellbeing issues concerning corals and snail venom.
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Learn about Corals and Snail Venom Host: Though the ocean harbors the secret to ageless beauty, for 6000 years, the delicate corals of the great barrier reefs have battled the ravages of the sun with ease. Now, Scientists have finally discovered how they do it. And you guessed it. Here comes the face screen Scientists from Australia’s University of Queensland have discovered that corals have special proteins that turn damaging UV B Rays into more nourishing forms of energy. Research just have successfully isolated these proteins and are eager to implement them in a range of new generation sunscreens and cosmetics. But if you’re worried about the effect, this will have one of the world’s natural wonders, fear not. Scientists have successfully synthesized the proteins. So, coral harvesting is not only agenda. In fact it would be healthier for the coral if we wear sunscreen similar to their own. Roughly 6000 metric tons of old style sunscreen washes off ocean swimmers each year—viral outbreaks that kill the reef, the new generation coral sunscreens looks it to preserve the beauty of your face and the beauty of the planet but there is still some work left to do. OverHoegh-Guldberg: The corals are often very attractive hues that at the same time it’s getting a unique protection. You could get a nice move and lipsticks. But of course we’re in early days now, we have to do all those work to get back onto the market. But it’s very promising at this point. Host: Coral reefs thrive in clear shallow waters where the UV concentration is not that different to levels on dry land. Skin cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma and deadly melanoma are becoming more prolific in human populations. Corals don’t suffer from sun induced cancers so there is much to be learned from these intricate marine colonies. Cancer researchers have discovered a coral of the coast of Japan that holds promise as a virus—and could also actively come back cancer by blocking certain proteins. Researchers have discovered a use for the proteins that make corals glow in the dark too. By implanting these special fluorescent proteins into viruses and dividing cancer cell, they can better see how the disease spreads and interacts with the body. Genes found in sea sponges suggest humans originated from the ocean. Perhaps it’s the place that holds the key to our health and rejuvenation. Many people have died picking up this rather innocuous looking seashell. What appears to be an attractive decoration for the mantelpiece is in fact home to one of the deadliest creatures on the planet, the cone snail. This tiny hunter shoots venom in its spray sending it off into a deep coma. This sounds rather unappealing to most but to medical researchers, it’s intriguing. Bruce Levett: Isolated recently a compound from the venom of an Australian kind style—and this is an analgesic. And we’ve tested it in rats which presents a modal for neuropathic pain and it’s a very effective, in fact it’s the most effective analgesic that we have accessed to in preventing what’s known as chronic neuropathic pain. And that’s the kind of pain that currently morphine is the only treatment for. So, we think that this may present an alternative to morphine or perhaps something that can be given together with morphine to—the morphine levels below that unwanted level that cause unwanted side effects. Host: Morphine tends to make people drowsy and incoherent at the same time as being highly addictive. So far, it looks like the snail equivalent ziconotide. It doesn’t have any adverse side effects and will soon be available for Aids and Cancer patients. A cone snail’s venom changes according to the temperature and available food sources in the environment. There is still much to learn.