Shark Fin Soup

(Where I got this information from)

Yup, sharks! Just uttering the word is enough to strike fear in most people’s soul to stop them in their tracks and make them all scream “Holy heaven!” but unsurprisingly, there are others who can’t seem to get enough of them! (Shark week people) Some of these folks would feed the sharks, physically touch the sharks, and even swim with the sharks! Why would anyone want to feed sharks, let alone swim with them you ask? Well it’s mainly because they’re cool fishes and they have been here well before dinosaurs; let’s be real, dinosaurs are pretty cool too. Some of the earliest known sharks trace back to some 420 million years ago. Also recently, scientists had found sharks to be pretty useful as well.

Dogfish sharks, to be exact, were recently found to have this “cholesterol-like” compound in their skins that could fight viruses such as dengue fever and hepatitis. This compound is called squalamine and has already been used in clinical trials with no known side effects so far. When this compound enters the human body, it attaches itself to cell membranes and it ejects any previously positively charged proteins that were present because squalamine is positively charged. When virus invades the cells, they assumed there were proteins attached to the cells, and thus attacks them viciously in order to reproduce.  But without the proteins, the virus can’t replicate themselves at all. (Too bad right?)

Some scientists proclaimed that because sharks had squalamine in their system, it helped them adapt and defend against diseases and viruses. This might explain why sharks had existed for so long and had been able to undergo countless “evolutionary processes” to survive half a billion years!

So now the question is: should we kill another living creature in order to acquire an antidote for our own benefit, or try an alternative route to develop and obtain another substance that has the same capabilities as squalamine? Also click on this link: Bazinga!

By the way, did you like my blog? Did you like my links? Please comment!

2 Responses

  1. it'sCherie!

    Actually, there are many people in Asia who view Shark Fin as a very precious and delicious delicacy. People of the older generations usually give Shark Fin soup as a gift to someone or for an ill person to regenerate their health. I know, it’s pretty wacky, but it just goes to show that different cultures treasure different stuff. I personally, however, would much rather prefer chicken soup over sharks anyday!!

  2. Morgan

    Now it makes sense why sharks have been around for so long! I have always wondered what was so special about the shark that allowed its species to survive and adapt to the changing environment for hundreds and thousands of years. Squalamine sounds to be a promising substance, but seeing as it is stored in the skin I don’t know if it would be worth skinning sharks for. Still, the research is inspiring and just goes to show how much there is yet to discover.