Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene that causes barnacles to avoid ship hulls identified

Date:
August 17, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The substance medetomidine has proved effective in preventing fouling of ship bottoms. Researchers have now identified the gene that causes the barnacle to react to the substance, opening up the possibility of an anti-fouling paint that is gentle both on barnacles and on the environment.

A barnacle.
Credit: Dan Isaksson

The substance medetomidine has proved effective in preventing fouling of ship bottoms. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have now identified the gene that causes the barnacle to react to the substance, opening up the possibility of an antifouling paint that is gentle both on barnacles and on the environment.

Fouling of hulls is a major problem for world shipping, for private leisure craft as well as large cargo ships. The University of Gothenburg has attempted to develop new, environmentally friendly methods that can limit marine fouling in several large research projects.

Veterinary medicine

One of these focuses on the substance medetomidine, a veterinary medicine that has been shown to prevent barnacle larvae from attaching to the hull. Now researchers at the University of Gothenburg are able to explain why.

Reacting gene identified

In cooperation with colleagues at the universities of Turku and Helsinki, Professor Anders Blomberg at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology has succeeded in identifying and describing the gene that controls how barnacles sense and react to medetomidine.

Low levels enough

"We have found that medetomidine activates special receptors in barnacle larvae. The receptors emit a signal that causes the larva to swim away from the boat surface, instead of attaching to it. As the receptors are already activated at very low concentrations of the substance, this means that very low levels are also needed to be effective," says Professor Blomberg.

Environmental friendly

The results, which are published in the scientific journal Molecular Pharmacology, explain how it is possible to develop an environmentally friendly and effective antifouling paint which instead of killing barnacles acts as a "deterrent."

"Understanding how the substance works when it binds to the receptor also makes it possible to develop selective agents that only affect barnacles and not other marine organisms," says Professor Blomberg.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. U. Lind, M. Alm Rosenblad, L. Hasselberg Frank, S. Falkbring, L. Brive, J. M. Laurila, K. Pohjanoksa, A. Vuorenpaa, J. P. Kukkonen, L. Gunnarsson, M. Scheinin, L. G. E. Martensson Lindblad, A. Blomberg. Octopamine Receptors from the Barnacle Balanus improvisus Are Activated by the 2-Adrenoceptor Agonist Medetomidine. Molecular Pharmacology, 2010; 78 (2): 237 DOI: 10.1124/mol.110.063594

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Gene that causes barnacles to avoid ship hulls identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095822.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, August 17). Gene that causes barnacles to avoid ship hulls identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095822.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Gene that causes barnacles to avoid ship hulls identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100816095822.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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