Scientists have found a way to get us to brush the sun, without the sun.
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have discovered a compound that can darken the skin without the harmful UV rays of the sun, according to a new study published in Cell Reports.
When UV light hits the skin, the body begins to produce melanin, which acts as a natural sunscreen – so a good tan is just the body trying to protect itself. This new discovery prevents the body from producing melanin without being exposed to harmful radiation from the sun.
And while a natural summer glow is an interesting side effect, the research team was less concentrated on the toilet and more concerned about creating a product that helps prevent skin cancer, one of the most common types of cancer.
“Our real goal is a new strategy to protect the skin against UV radiation and cancer,” said David Fisher, lead author of the study, told the BBC. “The dark pigment is associated with a lower risk of all forms of skin cancer – which would be really huge.
The discovery has lasted more than a decade. In 2006, the same researchers found forskolin, a protein that in mice has fooled the skin to release melanin.
Unfortunately, forskolin proved to be too small to have the same effect on human skin, which is at least five times thicker than the skin of mice.
But this time, researchers have explored a different protein, called inducible salt kinase (SIK). After adjusting and tightening these proteins, scientists have successfully darkened the oil flat human skin collected in the remaining surgery rooms.
“He has a powerful effect of the dark,” Fisher said. “Under the microscope, it is the true melanin, which really activates the production of UV pigments independently.”
However, the use of a drug discovery is far from being sold at your local pharmacy. Despite promising preliminary results, the product has not yet been tested in humans.
The study noted that more safety testing is required, particularly when it is the MITF gene, which regulates skin pigmentation and possibly could cause cancer itself if it was doing so.
Fisher told Smithsonian magazine that it could take three to five years before the product is near the shelves. Your team is meeting with potential partners to work on developing a lotion or cream that could be used in human trials.
Fisher emphasized that whatever the shape of the end product, it would not be a substitute for sun cream, it only has an additional layer of protection.