Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mice give skin cancer clue

25.09.2001


Mice work says keep kids safe from the sun.
© Photodisc


Mouse studies emphasize children’s cancer risk from sunburn.

Serious sunburn in childhood may raise the risk of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer as an adult, research in mice suggests1. The experiments could lead to a better understanding of malignant melanoma and of how and when to protect ourselves from the sun.

"I have my kids wear hats and put sunscreen on like crazy now," says the study’s leader Glenn Merlino, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. The differences between mice and human skin mean that caution is needed in interpreting the results, he says, but they still hold lessons for parents.



Merlino’s team has engineered mice with "the closest thing we see to human skin", he says. Melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells that become cancerous in melanoma, are spread through the rodents’ skin as they are in humans. Normal mouse skin is quite different.

Mice given a sunburn-inducing dose of ultraviolet light at 3.5 days of age began to develop melanomas at around 6 months old. By a year of age, about half of these mice had cancer. Six-week-old mice given the same amount of ultraviolet light did not develop tumours.

The human equivalents of these mouse ages is not yet clear. The team aims to study exposure over a wider range of times to work out when young humans may be most at risk from sunburn.

The dangers of childhood sunburn are well known, says dermatologist Rona Mackie of the University of Glasgow, UK. "We’ve preached for years that young children are particularly vulnerable," she says. The age-related association between sunburn and melanoma contrasts with other forms of skin cancer, in which the risk rises more steadily with overall exposure to the sun.

Mackie believes this mouse model may help discover how ultraviolet light leads to cancer. Sunburn could turn melanocytes cancerous directly, or it might render the immune system unable to destroy cancer cells when they appear later, she says.

Such an understanding might yield therapies for repairing sunburn damage, Mackie adds.

References

  1. Noonan, F. P. et al. Neonatal sunburn and melanoma in mice. Nature, 413, 271 - 272, (2001).


JOHN WHITFIELD | Nature News Service
Further information:
http://www.nature.com/nsu/010920/010920-10.html

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: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

Im Focus: Gentle wall contact – the right scenario for a fusion power plant

Quasi-continuous power exhaust developed as a wall-friendly method on ASDEX Upgrade

A promising operating mode for the plasma of a future power plant has been developed at the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

X-ray scattering shines light on protein folding

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

Looking at linkers helps to join the dots

10.07.2020 | Materials Sciences

Surprisingly many peculiar long introns found in brain genes

10.07.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>