Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World-first test of sun-damaged skin launched

18.11.2005


A world-first test that assesses the damage people have done to their skin through sun exposure is being launched to the public at clinics throughout the UK.

The scientific test, whose launch comes as holidaymakers make plans to top up their tans during warm winter breaks, is able to reveal extent of the damage that sunbathers have inflicted on their skin’s genetic material, DNA, over many years.

The new test, called ‘skinphysical’, draws on pioneering work by skin cancer experts at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, together with Canadian company Genesis Genomics. It is being offered via branches of the Court House Clinics, which are based across the country in London, Essex, Sussex, Birmingham and, to come soon, in Manchester, and by the BUPA clinic in Washington, Tyne and Wear.



Few people are aware that once their suntan has faded, the damage to their skin remains. This damage accumulates with every exposure, creating a personal tower of damage which never diminishes, continuously growing, leading to skin ageing and increasing the risk of skin cancer in later life.

Patients opting for skinphysical must give a small sample of their skin from just above their elbow, which is sent off for laboratory tests. They also fill in a comprehensive, ten-page questionnaire as part of a full analysis, which asks detailed questions about their lifestyle, skin type, sun protection regime, and more. All the information is used to provide customised sun safety advice, and patients can repeat the test at a later date to see if a change to their regime has had any affect on their skin cancer risk.

Professor Mark Birch-Machin, a skin cancer expert with Newcastle University’s School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and managing director of Genesis Genomics UK, which has set up a base in his laboratories on the University campus, said:

“We’re getting richer as a society, and there are more package holidays available, which means that more people are enjoying hot and sunny holidays abroad all year round. But the rise in the number of skin cancer cases in the UK shows that people are not taking the advice on protecting their bodies from the sun’s harmful rays.

“The key issue with handing out general advice on sun safety is that it’s not specific enough for the individual. It’s human nature for people to assume that diseases like skin cancer happen to other people – and they tend not to make any adjustments to their behaviour until they are threatened with the real possibility of it affecting them.

“That’s where our skin test has the advantage. People who take it get a highly personalised assessment of the risks they are facing from the sun, which depends on factors such as their genetic skin type, lifestyle, and, most importantly, the results from the test, which reveals the extent of damage accumulated over many years.”

Prof Birch-Machin, who is also developing the next generation of sun creams in his laboratories, added: “We then provide customised advice, such as the sun protection factor and star rating of sun cream patients should buy, and further advice on how to apply it. We also tell patients about behaviour changes they should make to increase their sun protection that would allow them to enjoy the sun but to enjoy it more safely. They can then come back for further tests to see if the changes they have made have had any affect.”

The full test includes the skin test and questionnaire analysis but if there is not a healthcare provider nearby then the individual may want to try the questionnaire alone. This will be available online. Prof Birch-Machin would eventually like to see the UK’s Department of Health take the service on board and offer it to NHS patients.

Prof Mark Birch-Machin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>