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 -
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.
Mini-Brains In A Dish
'Cultured brains on a slab.' - Peter Watts, 1999.
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.
Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'
Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'
NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'
GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'
Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'
LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'
Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.
Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.
Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.
Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.
Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?
I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.
When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'
Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'
Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'
Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories