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 November 24, 2014 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 November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
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