PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

PSU Scientists Determine Why We Tan

Now that summer’s kicked into high gear, your skin is probably darker than normal, maybe even just an incidental tan. Hopefully it’s less than certain Mid-Atlantic youth of Italian extraction. Regardless, researchers at Penn State have actually come up with a new theory as to why our skin tans in the first place.

A study in the Department of Anthropology has found new reasons for the darkening of human skin pigments. This all goes back to evolution. In mid-to-northern latitudes where we live, the amount of ultraviolet B radiation that come in contact with our skin varies dramatically between seasons. UVB rays produce Vitamin D, and tanning is a natural mechanism for avoiding a deficiency of the nutrient. In fact, the researchers even found a connection between a Vitamin D shortage and the dark shade of skin pigments in those lacking. While UVB can also harm folate, needed for cell growth, when radiation levels drop, however, this allows for more production of Vitamin D and protects the folate.

This goes against previous theories, which, according to Penn State anthropology professor Nina Jablonski, “focused on the protective effects of melanin against sunburn, skin cancer, and overproduction of vitamin D.”

So I suppose the Jersey Shore hooligans are not off the hook when it comes to skin cancer. Though they certainly were always on it for every other kind. They can give a nod to Dear Old State next time they go for a nice bronzing, and so can you.

Read the full report here.

[Pic]

About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

Comments

More by Dan

Erase Your Expectations: Dan McCool’s Senior Column

Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or how what you’re doing is going to fit into the cadre of college—or Penn State, for that matter—predetermined by our culture. Go make your own Penn State, without any expectations; you’ll be much happier.

After Condom Spat, UPUA Approves Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

UPUA Is Walking to Harrisburg, Not Much Else

Athletics

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Brett Murray is no longer on the team after an uneventful tenure in Happy Valley that saw him score just one goal in 33 games.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Student Life

Your Fall 2018 Sylly Week Playlist

Whether this is your first semester or last, welcome to Sylly Week.

While You Were Gone…

Involvement Fair Returns To HUB Lawn Syllabus Week

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

While You Were Gone…

Here’s a roundup of what went on around Penn State during summer break.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

What Changed In State College While You Were Away

With another summer in the books, here are all the changes to State College that happened while you were gone.

Send this to a friend