• Fede Montagud, editor

    Emojis also reflect phototypes

    27 Apr Emojis also reflect phototypes

     

    Sources:

    NPR News

    Emojis are the faces that are used to express emotions in online communications. Anyone who uses a mobile phone, instant messaging or social networks will have seen lots of them. In the latest version of its operating system, Apple has introduced new emojis with different skin tones, resulting is some controversy in the WWW.

     

    Some forums refer to racism, because, it is claimed, the yellow faces are too yellow. Online, the least little outburst can set the WWW afire. The question is why has Apple classified humans in terms of six skin tones: why not four or 10? Is this a whim of Apple designers? No, in fact. Apple designers have done their homework and the decision is scientifically grounded. The new Apple emojis, which users worldwide are already downloading, are based on the phototype classification created in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick and widely used today. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Aircraft cabins and UVA rays

    25 Feb Aircraft cabins and UVA rays

     

    Sources:

    JAMA Dermatology

    UVB rays are partially filtered by glass in windows and windscreens, but not UVA rays — and likewise with the glass in airplanes. Except that the altitude at which most commercial aircraft fly (30,000 feet) aggravates this problem further. Cabin crew, most especially pilots, are therefore at a high risk of developing skin cancer.

     

    Martina Sanlorenzo, a researcher at the University of California, recently authored a study that compared radiation in aircraft cabins with that in tanning beds. She found that about 55 minutes flying at over 30,000 feet was equivalent to 20 minutes in a tanning bed. Contrasting her data with other studies, Sanlorenzo and her team calculated that pilots and cabin crew were up to 2.22 times more likely to develop skin cancer. Read More

  • Núria Estapé, science journalist

    The skin and environmental stress

    Air pollution, extreme temperatures, artificial light, ultraviolet radiation, noise, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes: all these environmental stressors threaten the health of our skin. Recent studies show that when the skin is continuously exposed to various forms of environmental stress it ages much faster and becomes vulnerable to diseases such as cancer.

     

    The skin is the wrapper that connects us to the environment and protects our body from the inclemencies of the weather. This is hardly surprising, as the skin is the body’s organ that suffers most when our living environment is toxic and inhospitable. Our skin reflects everything, whether it comes from within or without, whether it’s psychological problems, the repercussions of what we eat, the air we breathe or what touches our skin. Living conditions in large cities and industrial areas have created new problems for our skin, designed to be able to adapt to temperature and humidity variations in natural habitats. Read More

  • Josep Orellana, science journalist

    Protecting the skin from infrared radiation

    We are well aware of the adverse effects of the sun’s radiation on our skin and blame ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB). To reduce its impact we use sunscreens and limit sunbathing. But the sun's infrared rays can also penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin.

     

    Sunlight is composed of ultraviolet light (7%) and visible light (38%), but infrared (IR) light, at 54%, represents the most important fraction. Depending on the wavelength, IR radiation is classified into three types: IRA, IRB and IRC. Both UV and visible light are attenuated by melanin, a substance secreted in the top layers of skin. However, IRA rays can pass through to the deeper layers of the skin. Read More

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