Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
I&T Weekly holiday break
I&T Weekly is taking a holiday break. We will be back on Friday, January 12, 2018 with a fresh selection of innovation and technology news. On behalf of the entire UNU-MERIT team, we wish our readers an excellent 2018!




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All headlines
  • France announces landmark ban on fossil fuel production
  • Extreme laser bursts may lead to practical nuclear fusion
  • Gene editing staves off deafness in mice
  • Integrated circuits could make quantum computers scalable
  • 'Water cloak' uses electromagnetic waves to eliminate turbulence
  • Cold cigarette lighter will power satellite
  • New sunscreen features melanin-mimicking nanoparticles
    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have created a sunscreen that both mimics and enhances the skin's natural protective abilities.

    The team were able to tap into the skin's defence mechanisms using nanoparticles of oxidised dopamine. Tests showed the particles mimic melanosomes, the organelle in skin cells that synthesizes, stores and transports melanin. Researchers first developed the nanoparticles two years ago while studying the behaviour of melanins in bird feathers.

    Researchers believe their breakthrough could yield treatments for vitiligo and albinism, diseases caused by defects in the body's melanin production system. Patients diagnosed with vitiligo and albinism are at a much higher risk of skin cancer.

    Melanosomes are produced by cells called melanocytes, found among the bottom layers of the epidermis. The organelles deliver melanin to keratinocytes, skin cells in the upper layer of the epidermis. There, melanin goes to work protecting skin cells from ultraviolet radiation.

    In lab tests using tissue culture, researchers showed the nanoparticles are absorbed and distributed throughout keratinocytes just like natural melanin. The nanoparticles also protected skin cells from DNA damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.

    UPI / ACS Central Science    May 17, 2017