It is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with more than 69,000 new cases reported every year. The incidences of the most dangerous type – melanoma – have has doubled over the past 20 years.
Now an online survey aims to learn how people of different nationalities behave while having fun in the sun, and their attitudes to tanning and skin cancer.
The survey, at www.genomel.org, is the latest initiative by GenoMEL, a five-year international research consortium, coordinated by the University of Leeds, which is using a combination of genetic science and psychology to try and halt the alarming rise in skin cancers.
Their main focus of the researchers is collecting DNA from thousands of people, to identify the genes – running in families or populations – which may increase susceptibility to skin cancer. The project coordinator is Professor Julia Newton-Bishop of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine. She explained: “We have identified four high-risk melanoma genes which increase someone’s risk of skin cancer. There are also many other relatively low-risk genes, such as MC1R, – this one which gives people pale skin, red hair and freckles and therefore makes them more susceptible to sun damage.”
But it isn’t simply genetic. For example, in Australia up to 11 per cent of melanoma patients report an earlier family history of the disease, compared to just one per cent in the UK, although both countries have a similar genetic mix. Susceptibility to cancer may be related to lifestyle, where you live – and how you look after yourself in the sunshine.
The multiple-choice survey aims to show how lifestyle choices and attitudes to exposure to the sun affect the risk of getting skin cancer. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete and offers participants the chance to access receive more information about reducing their own risk.
“This is a great way for people to take part in research and to really make the most of the Internet,” said Professor Newton-Bishop. “With an on-line survey we can involve thousands of people whereas with more traditional methods we could only reach a few hundred.”
The questionnaire is available in English, Dutch and Swedish – though French, Spanish, Italian, German, Slovenian, Hebrew, Polish and Latvian versions of the site will go live over the next few months, allowing researchers to assess how people of different nationalities interpret their own risk and protect themselves in the sun.
The results, expected in early 2008, will help scientists develop more effective prevention and education strategies, aimed at getting millions of sun worshippers to change their behaviour. Professor Newton-Bishop added: “We hope to create an online ‘risk calculator’ that makes it easy for individuals of different skin types to work out how safe they are in the sun, based on our genetic research findings.”
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Life Sciences