- June 27, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Context: An Indian start-up is able to manufacture melanin, a polymer with multifarious uses, at a fraction of the prevailing cost.
- It is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms.
- Melanin, a polymer (long chain of similar molecules), originates from an amino acid called tyrosine.
- Our bodies produce melanin as a defence against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the more the melanin, the darker the eyes, hair and skin.
- Melanin functions as the catalyst of all cellular functions within an organism.
- It is an organic semiconductor, useful in bioelectronics such as pacemakers and biosensors
- It is useful in drug delivery
- As protection from sunlight, gamma rays, it can find use as a radiation shield.
- As a cathode material for batteries (rechargeable sodium and magnesium ion batteries) as it can split water in the presence of sunlight.
- Some melanin-producing fungi can grow even in a radioactive zone like Chernobyl, the site of a nuclear accident.