Enhancing Private Biomedical Technology: The Role of Federal Programs
During the early days of World War II, American soldiers fighting in the scorching sun of the Pacific Islands, working on the decks of ships, or stranded on the open ocean rapidly became victims of incapacitating sunburn. Recognizing the critical need for a skin agent to protect GIs, the government began experimenting with sun-protecting chemicals like red petrolatum, the inert residue that remains after crude oil is processed into gasoline and heating oil. Red petrolatum’s natural red pigments proved to be effective in blocking the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and the Army Air Corps issued it to pilots and crews in case they were downed in the tropics. Dr. Benjamin Green, who assisted the military in developing sunscreens, believed there was a vast, untapped commercial market for sunning products. After the war, he helped develop sunscreen into a creamy white lotion scented with the essence of jasmine, a product that became known as Coppertone.
KeywordsTechnology Transfer Biomedical Technology Advance Research Project Agency Private Sector Health Care Neuroprosthetic Device
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