For a long time, oil and gas were seen as the Arctic’s most valuable resource. But a new report shows that another resource has been discovered in the north; genetics.

43 companies are already either selling or developing products derived from the DNA found in Arctic plants and animals. David Leary, international lawyer with the United Nations University’s Institute of Advanced Studies, thinks however that Canada may not be taking advantage of all it has to offer.

The Arctic’s unique environment has helped scientists use compounds from organisms that evolved to life at near-zero or even subzero environments. Some companies for example, are using so-called “antifreeze proteins” found in Arctic plants and animals as a way to improve the taste, texture and safety of frozen foods.

“Nature provides a lot of inspiration,” said Leary.