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Sunday, November 6, 2011
Free Online Medical News at Online Health Expert: Skin's Melanocytes "see" (via Rhodopsin - previously only thought to exist in the eyes) Sun's UVA Light and Start Making Melanin Within Hours to Prevent Skin Damage.
Online Health Expert Medical News Flash: Scientists are learning more about how the skin cells respond to and protect themselves against the Sun's UV (Ultraviolet) radiation. This will shed more light on the prevention of and management of Skin cancer in the future. In a recent study done by Elena Oancea, Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Physiology, and Biotechnology at Brown University, graduate student Nadine Wicks, and their team and published in the journal Current Biology discovered that the melanocytes (cells that make and store melanin) contain rhodopsin protein, a photosensitive receptor used by the eye’s Rods in the Retina to “see” or detect light and the RNA to transcribe it. As soon as the Skin’s melanocytes “see” the UVA (Ultraviolet A – longer wavelength and less damaging) it triggers a calcium signaling response that stimulates melanin production, which is known to protect the Skin cells’ DNA from damage due mainly to the UVB (shorter wavelength and more damaging) long before the effects of tanning are noticeable.
It is quite fascinating to learn that our skin has eyes to protect itself against the damaging effects of UV radiation.
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Dr. Harish Malik