Sun Exposure More Than Skin Deep; UV Radiation May Damage DNA, Increase Risk For Cancer, Cataracts. This is a very interesting article.-MDA

By Shweta Iyer

Cosmetologists and beauty experts have long been shouting from roof tops about the damaging effects prolonged sun exposure has on our skin. But wrinkles, rough skin, and sun spots are just the visible problems. According to new research, sun damage is much deeper than that and has the potential to cause skin cancer and cataracts by damaging the DNA. Understanding how this damage occurs is an important step toward managing it.

The research by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland has found that DNA damage occurs as a result of degradation of proteins into smaller chunks by harmful UV rays. These small proteins or peptides degrade under UV light by first passing through a triplet quantum state, where they become reactive and cause more damage.

This mechanism of degradation is explained in The Journal of Chemical Physics this week.

In their experiment, the researchers took gas-phase peptides containing tyrosine or phenylalanine, light-absorbing …….

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source: Medical Daily