• Anna Solana, science journalist

    Sun damage continues after dark

    31 May Sun damage continues after dark

     

    Sources:

    Scientific American

    It may take a few hours for you to realise that you got sunburned while sunbathing. Similarly, the mutations that ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause in DNA and that lead to the dreaded skin cancer continue for several hours after you’ve left the beach or the mountains and the sun has gone down.

     

    Researchers at Yale University – led by Douglas E. Brash, a professor of radiology and dermatology – have published a study in Science that demonstrates that melanin, the pigment that darkens the skin to protect it from harm inflicted by UV rays, also has its downside. Certain components of this pigment are involved in the onset of DNA lesions that can cause the mutations responsible for melanoma – which continue for up to four hours after sun exposure has ended. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Google creates artificial human skin for medical purposes

    6 Apr Google creates artificial human skin for medical purposes

     

    Sources:

    The Independent

    Google has long since ceased to be a mere search engine. It is keeping one step ahead of scientific and technical developments, as evidenced by Google Glass and driverless cars. Now, in its Life Sciences division, it wants to change the traditional approach to medicine and observe the body from within. But to interpret the results, Google also had to recreate the body’s protective barrier, the skin.

     

    ​​Dr. Andrew Conrad, who heads the Google X Life Sciences team, wants to make medicine more proactive and preventive than episodic and reactive, so he is more interested in preventing people from getting sick than in curing them. His team is working on developing a wristband to detect cancer cells, heart problems and other diseases long before the first symptoms appear. The innovative wristband picks up the light emitted by nanoparticles inserted into the body by simple pills. The team didn’t think twice about developing artificial human skin. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Sunburns triple the risk of skin cancer

    21 Nov

     

    Sunburn is dangerous. It may increase the risk of skin cancer, even though we may have been burned – as children – before we were aware of the consequences. We have been warned time and again, but we still see skins red as tomatoes from the sun.

     

    That’s why some organizations continue to emphasize informing the consumer. This Cancer Research (UK) video explains what happens to cells when the sun damages them and the difference with other burns caused by hot objects. The other burns heal, but burns from the sun can have dramatic consequences many years later. Contact burns merely destroy some skin cells, nothing more. Sunburn also destroys cells, but it also alters the DNA of surviving cells and this can lead to the development of cancer. A simple but enlightening reason not to forget to protect yourself from the sun. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Surviving melanoma but failing to learn

    5 Sep Surviving melanoma but failing to learn

     

    Sources:

    Reuters

    We tend to forget, for better and for worse. Or, put another way, we repeatedly trip on the same stone. Different studies show that patients who have had melanoma do not protect themselves from the sun as they should and eventually return to their old habits.

     

    According to the European Cancer Observatory, nearly 68,000 Europeans are annually diagnosed with melanoma. Patients who have had this aggressive type of skin cancer are at higher risk than the rest of the population. For this reason, they are supposed to stop sunbathing and to double sunscreen use, even when just going out for a walk. However, it seems that they eventually leave off these practices, with some even confessing that, by the second or third year, they have been sunburned at least once! Read More

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