EEET EEES SCIENCIO! And, because I have an AS level in Biology, I and Dr Paul Long who headed up the 3 year project at Kings College London will explain,
“What we have found is that the algae living within the coral makes a compound that we think is transported to the coral, which then modifies it into a sunscreen for the benefit of both the coral and the algae.”
The fish living in the reef in turn benefit from sun protection as they feed on the coral. It’s all very food chainy.
Scientists are working on replicating this in a synthetic anti-sun compound, mimicking that found in the coral.
For now tests will be conducted on human skin samples acquired by cosmetic surgeons. Should the research progress as hoped we could be popping a sun protection tablet in 5 years, though only on prescription shielding both skin and eyes from sun damage.