Escapin: Anti-Bacterial Sea Slug Protein Prevents Biofilm Build-Up
Escapin, an anti-bacterial protein found in the ink of the common Aplysia sea slug, could form the basis of new compounds to prevent the formation of biofilms on ship hulls, fishing traps and nets. The Aplysia sea slug is sometimes called the "sea hare."
(From the Sea Slug Forum)
Environmentally friendly alternatives to heavy metals like copper, which are commonly applied to marine materials to prevent biofilm development, are being sought as concern over the health of the seas deepens. Biofilm is a precursor to the growth of barnacles and other organisms; seamen have spent weary lifetimes scraping them off. Why scrape barnacles off the bottom of a ship? Because they greatly increase drag - which in turn increases the amount of oil burned to push the ship through the water.
The genetic sequence of Escapin was identified by a Center for Behavioral Neuroscience research team led by Charles Derby, biologist at Georgia State University.
This problem has also been addressed in sf. Bruce Sterling wrote about inert resin in his 1988 novel Islands in the Net. In the golden age of science fiction, all of the equipment was antiseptically clean and brand new. As time passed, a gritty realism prevailed; everything in movies like Aliens and Blade Runner (for example) is worn and dirty. Inert resin is one example of technologies that keep the science fiction world realistic, but clean.
See the original press release Genetic sequence identified for anti-bacterial sea slug protein.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/2/2004)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.' - John Varley, 1977.
China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?' - Niven, Pournelle, Flynn, 1995.
Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' -
Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'
Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''
The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'
Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.
Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'
Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.
Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.
Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'
Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'
Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.
EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.
Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'
New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'
Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!
Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories