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Tattoos and skin complications
May 28, 2015 08:41 AM - NYU LANGONE MEDICAL CENTER / NEW YORK UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE via EurekAlert

In what they believe to be the first survey of its kind in the United States, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that as many as 6 percent of adult New Yorkers who get "inked" -- in other words, those who get a tattoo -- have experienced some form of tattoo-related rash, severe itching or swelling that lasted longer than four months and, in some cases, for many years. 

"We were rather alarmed at the high rate of reported chronic complications tied to getting a tattoo," says senior study investigator and NYU Langone dermatologist Marie Leger, MD, PhD, whose team's latest findings appear in the journal Contact Dermatitis online May 27. 

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No Sunscreen Needed
May 12, 2015 08:47 AM - ENN Editor

With summer sun right around the corner, it is important to be prepared and protect our skin from those potentially harmful rays. Whether you use sunscreen or set up an umbrella for shade at the beach, we should be proactive so we don't get sun-burn.

For us, we take precautions, but how do the rest of the animal kingdom fare? How can animal species spend their whole lives outdoors with no apparent concern about high levels of solar exposure?

According to researchers from Oregon State University, animals make their own sunscreen.

The findings, published in the journal eLife, found that many fish, amphibians, reptiles, and birds can naturally produce a compound called gadusol, which among other biologic activities provides protection from the ultraviolet, or sun-burning component of sunlight.

The researchers also believe that this ability may have been obtained through some prehistoric, natural genetic engineering.

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SPOTLIGHT

Prehistoric climate changes still detectable deep underground

Vanderbilt University

It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Today, scientists can date these layers with extreme precision based on the radioactive decay of uranium into its daughter product thorium. Variations in the thickness of the layers is determined by a combination of the amount of water seeping into the cave and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cave’s atmosphere so, when conditions are right, they can provide a measure of how the amount of precipitation above the cave varies over time. By analyzing the ratios of heavy to light isotopes of oxygen present in the layers, the researchers can track changes in the temperature at which the water originally condensed into droplets in the atmosphere changes and whether the rainfall’s point of origin was local or if traveled a long way before falling to the ground.

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