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Will Shark Skin Studies Lead to New Sunscreens?

Did you ever hear that sharks never get cancer? Well, this is false. Sharks do get cancer.

However, they don’t get all types of cancer. In fact, it turns out that sharks do not get skin cancer. Scientists have been investigating the effects of UV radiation on shark skin and have found that while their skin changes color from light to dark (sharks can tan, who knew) they don’t experience melanoma.

At the moment it is a mystery as to why they do not get skin cancer. It is likely due to the high antioxidant properties of the skin but investigations will continue. No doubt that this could be a unique marketing angle for some new sunscreen. I just hope no sharks are harmed.

Incidentally, scientists have discovered extensive skin cancer in fish like coral trout. The cause of this is unknown also but thought to be somehow related to climate change and pollution.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • aram 08/26/2012, 2:21 pm

    is this shark’s turn?! poor sharks!!!

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