Skin Turns Radiation to Heat with Rapid Reaction
In a new study, the team from Lund Univ., working with colleagues in France and Italy, have studied pigment in the skin and its building blocks. Pigment in both skin and hair comprises of two different types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin makes us develop a suntan and gives color to brown and black hair, whereas those with red hair and pale skin instead have high levels of pheomelanin.
“We found that eumelanin converts harmful UV radiation into heat with almost 100 percent efficiency. The chemical reaction is incredibly quick, taking less than a thousandth of a billionth of a second,” said Villy Sundström, professor of chemistry at Lund Univ.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/skin-turns-radiation-heat-rapid-reaction
‘Natural’ Moisturizers Can Cause Food Allergies
A woman has experienced a life-threating allergic reaction after using a moisturiser with “natural” ingredients. The 55-year-old woman experienced the reaction after eating goat’s cheese, which researchers say was triggered by the repeated use several months earlier of a moisturizer that contained goat’s milk.
Prof. Robyn O’Hehir, Director of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, at Monash Univ. says many creams – even for the treatment of dry skin and eczema – are advertised as “natural” products.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/%E2%80%98natural%E2%80%99-moisturizers-can-cause-food-allergies
Five Blistering Sunburns May Up Melanoma Risk by 80 Percent
The risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, is more closely related to sun exposure in early life than in adulthood in young Caucasian women, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
“Our results suggest that sun exposures in both early life and adulthood were predictive of non-melanoma skin cancers, whereas melanoma risk was predominantly associated with sun exposure in early life in a cohort of young women,” says Abrar Qureshi, professor and chair of the Department of Dermatology at Warren Alpert Medical School of the Brown Univ. and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/five-blistering-sunburns-may-melanoma-risk-80-percent
Skin Grafts from GM Pigs May Aid Burn Treatment
A specially bred strain of miniature swine, lacking the molecule responsible for the rapid rejection of pig-to-primate organ transplants, may provide a new source of skin grafts to treat seriously burned patients. A team of investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that skin grafts from pigs lacking the Gal sugar molecule were as effective in covering burn-like injuries on the backs of baboons as skin taken from other baboons, a finding that could double the length of time burns can be protected while healing. The report in the journal Transplantation has been published online.
"This exciting work suggests that these GalT-knockout porcine skin grafts would be a useful addition to the burn-management armamentarium," says Curtis Cetrulo, of the MGH Transplantation Biology Research Center (TBRC) and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, corresponding author of the Transplantation paper. "We are actively exploring options for establishing clinical-grade production of these grafts and hope to begin a clinical trial in due course."
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/skin-grafts-gm-pigs-may-aid-burn-treatment
Study of Aspirin’s Effect on Healing Offers Hope for Chronic Wounds
In addition to its known capacity to promote bleeding events, aspirin also inhibits wound healing. New research published in The Rockefeller Univ. Press’ The Journal of Experimental Medicine now describes how aspirin acts on key skin cells called keratinocytes, delaying skin repair at wound sites. A better understanding of this process offers hope for the development of drugs to encourage wounds to heal.
The public health impact of chronic wounds is significant, affecting 6.5 million people in the U.S. alone. Chronic wounds, a common complication of diabetes, are an increasing healthcare burden due to the rising incidence rates for obesity and diabetes. Wound healing is a complex process that is dependent on the restoration of the epithelial layer, the outermost layer of the skin, over the wound surface. Skin cells called keratinocytes play an important role in this process; when keratinocyte migration across the wound is defective, wounds such as diabetic ulcers cannot heal and become chronic wounds. However, we do not fully understand how keratinocyte movement during wound healing is regulated.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/study-aspirin%E2%80%99s-effect-healing-offers-hope-chronic-wounds
We spend our lives covered head-to-toe in a thin veneer of bacteria. But despite a growing appreciation for the valuable roles our resident microbes play in the digestive tract, little is known about the bacteria that reside in and on our skin. A new study suggests the interplay between our cells and these skin-dwelling microbes could influence how wounds heal.
“This study gives us a much better understanding of the types of bacterial species that are found in skin wounds, how our cells might respond to the bacteria and how that interaction can affect healing,” says Matthew Hardman, a senior research fellow at The University of Manchester Healing Foundation Centre who led the project. “It’s our hope that these insights could help lead to better treatments to promote wound healing that are based on sound biology.” He presented the work at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/skin-dwelling-bacteria-influences-healing
Today in Lab History: April 23, 1981- Artificial Skin
On April 23, 1981, artificial skin was first transplanted in the U.S. on patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. The combination of cowhide, shark cartilage and plastic was developed by Ioannis Yannas and a research team at MIT. This material makes possible the treatment of burn patients whose injuries might otherwise be fatal.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-artificial-skin
LED Light May Aid Skin
There was a time when no one thought about light bulbs — one blew, you screwed another one in. Nowadays, it’s more complicated, as energy efficiency concerns have given rise to a slew of options, including incandescent, compact fluorescent lights, and light emitting diodes.
LEDs are the most expensive option, but they are also the most energy efficient, are getting more cost-efficient, and they are growing in popularity. With this increasing acceptance, concerns have arisen about long- or short-term direct skin exposure—especially since a 2012 SBU study found that contact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs can harm skin cells due to UV-light emittance.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/led-light-may-aid-skin
Sun May Lower Blood Pressure
Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure and thus cut the risk of heart attack and stroke, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests.
Research carried out at the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh shows that sunlight alters levels of the small messenger molecule, nitric oxide (NO) in the skin and blood, reducing blood pressure.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/01/sun-may-lower-blood-pressure
Newcastle Univ. researchers have identified an antioxidant, Tiron, that offers total protection against some types of sun damage and may ultimately help our skin stay looking younger for longer.
Publishing in The FASEB Journal, the authors describe how in laboratory tests, they compared the protection offered against either UVA radiation or free radical stress by several antioxidants, some of which are found in foods or cosmetics. While UVB radiation easily causes sunburn, UVA radiation penetrates deeper, damaging our DNA by generating free radicals which degrades the collagen that gives skin its elastic quality.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/01/antioxidant-keeps-skin-younger-longer
Researchers Improve Safety of Cosmetic, Sunscreen Ingredient
Using a particular type of titanium dioxide — a common ingredient in cosmetics, food products, toothpaste and sunscreen — could reduce the potential health risks associated with the widely used compound. The report on the substance, produced by the millions of tons every year for the global market, appears in the ACS journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
Francesco Turci and colleagues at Univ. of Torino explain that titanium dioxide (TiO2) is generally considered a safe ingredient in commercially available skin products because it doesn’t penetrate healthy skin. But there’s a catch. Research has shown that TiO2 can cause potentially toxic effects when exposed to ultraviolet light, which is in the sun’s rays and is the same kind of light that the compound is supposed to offer protection against. To design a safer TiO2 for human use, the researchers set out to test different forms of the compound, each with its own architecture.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/09/researchers-improve-safety-cosmetic-sunscreen-ingredient
An assistant professor with the Virginia Tech — Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering has developed a flexible microneedle patch that allows drugs to be delivered directly and fully through the skin. The new patch can quicken drug delivery time while cutting waste, and can likely minimize side-effects in some cases, notable in vaccinations and cancer therapy.
News of the delivery technology was published in a recent issue of the scientific journal, Advanced Materials. Leading development of the flexible patch was Lissett Bickford, now an assistant professor and researcher of biomedical engineering and the mechanical engineering, both part of the Virginia Tech College of Engineering.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/09/patch-delivers-drugs-directly-through-skin
Biosensor Warns Athletes of Imminent Exhaustion
A new biosensor, applied to the human skin like a temporary tattoo, can alert marathoners, competitive bikers and other “extreme” athletes that they’re about to “bonk,” or “hit the wall,” scientists are reporting. The study, in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry, describes the first human tests of the sensor, which also could help soldiers and others who engage in intense exercise — and their trainers — monitor stamina and fitness.
Joseph Wang and colleagues, from UC San Diego, explain that the sensor monitors lactate, a form of lactic acid released in sweat. Lactate forms when the muscles need more energy than the body can supply from the “aerobic” respiration that suffices during mild exercise. The body shifts to “anaerobic” metabolism, producing lactic acid and lactate. That helps for a while, but lactate builds up in the body, causing extreme fatigue and the infamous “bonking out,” where an athlete just cannot continue.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/07/biosensor-warns-athletes-imminent-exhaustion
Using tiny gold particles and a kind of resin, a team of scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has discovered how to make a new kind of flexible sensor that one day could be integrated into electronic skin, or e-skin. If scientists learn how to attach e-skin to prosthetic limbs, people with amputations might once again be able to feel changes in their environments. The findings appear in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.
The secret lies in the sensor’s ability to detect three kinds of data simultaneously. While current kinds of e-skin detect only touch, the Technion team’s invention “can simultaneously sense touch, humidity and temperature, as real skin can do,” says research team leader Prof. Hossam Haick. Additionally, the new system “is at least 10 times more sensitive in touch than the currently existing touch-based e-skin systems.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/07/gold-makes-sensors-artificial-skin
Measuring Skin Vibrations May Aid Wearable Tactile Displays
In the near future, a buzz in your belt or a pulse from your jacket may give you instructions on how to navigate your surroundings.
Think of it as tactile Morse code: vibrations from a wearable, GPS-linked device that tell you to turn right, left or stop, depending on the pattern of pulses you feel. Such a device could free drivers from having to look at maps, and could also serve as a tactile guide for the visually and hearing impaired.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/measuring-skin-vibrations-may-aid-wearable-tactile-displays