Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Protects Us From Sunburn Also Protects Crayfish Against Bacteria

Date:
September 28, 2007
Source:
Uppsala University
Summary:
The production of melanin in our skin helps protect us from the sun's rays, but it also helps protect invertebrate animals -- in their case, by encapsulating attacking fungi and parasites. Biologists can now show that melanin protects against bacterial infections, at least in crayfish.

A crayfish walks along the river rocks.
Credit: iStockphoto/Jason Lugo

The production of melanin in our skin helps protect us from the sun's rays, but it also helps protect invertebrate animals  -- in their case, by encapsulating attacking fungi and parasites. 

Related Articles


Uppsala University researchers, in collaboration with Korean and Thai colleagues, can now show that melanin also protects against bacterial infections, at least in crayfish.

The production of melanin is an important protective reaction that gives us a suntan, for instance. In invertebrate animals it has long been observed that parasites, fungi, and other invaders become encapsulated in melanin. In many animals this can be seen as black-brown spots on the shell that show that the animal has had an infection.

"In mosquitoes that can harbor the malaria parasite it has also been observed that the mosquito΄s ability to form such melanin capsules often determines whether it will be able to spread the disease to humans," says Haipeng Liu.

On the other hand, the possible effect of melanin production on bacterial infections has been intensively debated. In the current study the scientists show, by manipulating the genetic expression of the melanin-producing enzyme, that effective melanin production is crucial to the ability of freshwater crayfish to survive an infection of an extremely dangerous bacteria for them, Aeromonas hydrophila.

"The findings indicate that we should upgrade the significance of the melanin reaction and that it may be worthwhile to search for further cases where it prevents bacterial growth," says Haipeng Liu.

 The study was recently published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Uppsala University. "What Protects Us From Sunburn Also Protects Crayfish Against Bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924162956.htm>.
Uppsala University. (2007, September 28). What Protects Us From Sunburn Also Protects Crayfish Against Bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924162956.htm
Uppsala University. "What Protects Us From Sunburn Also Protects Crayfish Against Bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070924162956.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins