SUN BLOCKED

Two plants from Antarctica could hold the key to a new type of sunscreen

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Researchers at the University of Santiago in Chile are looking into two different types of Antarctic plants that are remarkably good at blocking UV rays as a possible base for a new type of sunscreen.

The plants, pearlwort and hair grass, have been studied for the past 10 years. Scientists discovered that both species are highly resistant to UV radiation, meaning that the plants receive little damage when exposed to high levels of radiation. By isolating the specific group of molecules that protect the plants from UV radiation, this research could one day lead to a more effective sunscreens.

In addition to solar protection for humans, these molecules could also help protect other types of plants that are vulnerable to UV radiation, like crops.