Sunbathing for dummies
12 December 2006
A photosensitive mannequin head developed by Australian scientists is being used in the fight against skin cancer.
The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.
We all know from experience that our cheeks and nose bear the brunt of sunburn to the face. Now Dr Nathan Downs and Professor Alfio Parisi from the University of Southern Queensland have created a model of the face which charts sun exposure to the different areas.
Dr Downs said: "Comparing the patterns of UV exposure to data on the location of skin cancers and cataracts could help clarify the link between UV radiation and the development of these diseases."
According to the Cancer Research UK, more than 2,000 people die from Skin Cancer in this country each year. The Cancer Council of Australia estimates 1,400 deaths per year Down Under from the disease.
The mannequin head has 709 measuring devices called 'dosimeters' on its surface. The team have recently made these dosimeters smaller, making it possible to place them on parts of the head previously difficult to access, such as under the nose and ears.
They then placed the head in the sun at various times of day and plotted exposure levels at different angles and weather conditions.
Dr Downs said: "In time we will dress the mannequin in hats and sunglasses, and put it in different environments like under trees. We are also developing similar models for the arms and legs."
with thanks to Daničle Gibney for the original article
ReferencesThree dimensional visualisation of human facial exposure to solar ultraviolet N Downs and A Parisi, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2006 DOI: 10.1039/b607553c
A photosensitive mannequin head may be the latest tool in skin cancer research.
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