A particular bacteria, called Micrococcus Luteus, living at the bottom of Trondheim Fjord lake in Norway has recently been discovered by Norwegian researchers. They found that the bacteria can produce a special pigment that can provide better protection against skin cancer: the pigment is able to absorb Ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the 350-475 nanometers range. When we sunbathe, the long-wavelength of UV radiation penetrates deep into our skin where the cells which generate malignant melanomas are located and triggers cancer. However, this pigment from the bacteria, known as Sarcinaxanthin Carotenoid, when compounded into sunscreen would absorb the long-wavelength radiation and preventing it from reaching the skin and thereby averting the development of the lethal skin cancer. The UVA- and UVB-blocking sunscreen currently available in the market cannot filter or block this long wavelength of UV light. The commercial manufacture of Sarcinaxanthin has been under way. In the process, the genes that produce the UV-blocking pigment were identified and then reproduced into the bacteria that are commonly used to make biological products, a shortcut to producing the pigment since the chemistry means has been difficult.
This is a manifest example of exploiting organism possessing trait useful in industrial application and is another cool way to improve technology.