Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Melanin Makes Skin Vulnerable To Harmful Ultraviolet Rays

Date:
October 18, 2004
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Blondes and redheads not only are more susceptible to skin cancer, but the source of their skin and hair pigmentation, melanin, actually magnifies the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Blondes and redheads not only are more susceptible to skin cancer, but the source of their skin and hair pigmentation, melanin, actually magnifies the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related Articles


Melanin filters out UV radiation, but the melanin in hair follicles, particularly in light hair, actually increases the sun damaging effects of UV rays and causes cell death in the hair follicle, said Douglas Brash, principal investigator and professor of therapeutic radiology, genetics and dermatology at Yale School of Medicine.

Brash said he had been curious why people with dark hair and fair skin were not as vulnerable to skin cancer as fair skinned blondes and redheads. "I wondered if it was related to the melanin," he said.

Brash's laboratory used mice engineered with pigmentation for yellow or black hair, as well as albino mice with no pigment at all. The researchers then irradiated the mice with UV rays that are about the same as what breaks through the ozone layer, affecting humans.

The cell death was concentrated around the hair follicles, which are the only location of melanin in mice. Dying cells were particularly pronounced in the yellow-haired mice and was absent in albinos.

"What this tells us is that melanin is not only good for you, it also can be bad. It depends on the color of your particular melanin," Brash said. "Even red melanin can vary widely, depending on whether your ancestors were Irish, Swedish or Dutch, and some of these variations are known to be associated with greater risk for skin cancer."

###

Citation: Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 42: pp 15076-15081 (October 19, 2004)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Melanin Makes Skin Vulnerable To Harmful Ultraviolet Rays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041014075543.htm>.
Yale University. (2004, October 18). Melanin Makes Skin Vulnerable To Harmful Ultraviolet Rays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041014075543.htm
Yale University. "Melanin Makes Skin Vulnerable To Harmful Ultraviolet Rays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041014075543.htm (accessed March 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

Obama: Affordable Care Act 'saving Lives'

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) Speaking at a White House event marking the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama says the law is "saving lives that touch all of us." (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins