Some people may see my love of the ocean as silly as just as a hobby, but staying connected with the ocean means staying connected to new discoveries in medicine. Really!
Without horseshoe crabs, we wouldn’t have the ability to check for bad bacteria when designing vaccines. That’s because the antibacterial properties of their bright blue blood help determine whether or not a vaccine has harmful substances in its mix.
Certain sponges and corals can even have antibacterial and anti-tumor properties, opening up the possibility for unique treatments in the future. The cone snail contains w-conotoxin MVIIA, which can also be used as a painkiller. Extracts from sea whips have anti-inflammatory properties that can stop skin irritation and other painful inflammation.
By keeping a close eye on the ocean, most of which is still unexplored, we keep tabs on new research and treatments that could be the next breakthrough in medicine.
Horseshoe Crab Medical Uses | Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Home Research Medicines from the Sea | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.