WHO Poll

gph 1:01 Thu Mar 1
Don't wash
too well

(New Scientist)

Your skin is crawling with bacteria – and some of them could be protecting you from cancer.

That’s what Teruaki Nakatsuji at the University of California, San Diego and his colleagues found when they took a closer look at the friendly bacteria that makes a home on our skin.

“The human skin has almost a million bacteria per square centimetre,” says Nakatsuji. Some of these are thought to have an important role in health, with some species linked to disorders like eczema.

But some skin bacteria seem to be good for us. When Nakatsuji’s team cultured skin bacteria from volunteers, they found that many were able to produce anti-bacterial proteins when they were introduced to harmful bacteria.

A strain of one species, Staphylococcus epidermidis, also made a molecule that has a similar structure to a drug that is used to treat blood cancer. When the team applied this chemical – called 6-HAP – to a range of cancer cells it killed them.

Tumour shrinking
The team then gave mice with skin tumours injections of this chemical every 48 hours, for two weeks. Compared to mice given saline injections, “the tumour size was suppressed by 60 per cent,” says Nakatsuji.

This suggests the compound made by this S. epidermidis strain can fight tumours, but to see if the bacteria can have the same effect, the team compared it with another S. epidermidis strain that doesn’t make 6-HAP

They gave mice one of these two strains and then exposed them to enough UV light to cause skin tumours. The mice with the 6-HAP strain, however, seemed to be protected, developing around 20 per cent fewer tumours than those that had the other strain.

The results suggest that similar bacteria – which are particularly abundant on our hands and feet – may be protecting us from skin cancer, says Nakatsuji.

The team want to develop a skin probiotic that contains the strain to help treat or protect against skin cancer. It could potentially be incorporated into sunscreen, Nakatsuji says. In the meantime, he recommends avoiding harsh anti-microbial hand soaps. “You need to let the beneficial bacteria grow,” he says.

Journal reference: Science Translational Medicine, DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2731

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Nurse Ratched 1:43 Thu Mar 1
Re: Don't wash
Cancer rates in Poland must be negligible.

Eerie Descent 1:37 Thu Mar 1
Re: Don't wash
jack flash 1:16 Thu Mar 1

Yeah, it'd be a much better world if everyone stank.

gph 1:21 Thu Mar 1
Re: Don't wash
You don't look very fat in your photo, Kev

jack flash 1:16 Thu Mar 1
Re: Don't wash
One of the greatest cons ever by the oil giants

In the early days Rockerfella's father (a known rapist) made vast amounts of money selling "Snake Oil" remedies to any suckers that he could take in

Most shampoos & soaps are chemical by-products of the petro-chemical industry, yet the majority of people use these toxic chemicals on their skin every day without giving it a second thought!

Also worth thinking about the tons of detergent that is poured down sinks every day in the form of washing up liquid & washing powder. Where do you think it ends up?

JustAFatKevinDavies 1:12 Thu Mar 1
Re: Don't wash
i'll promise not to wash if you promise not to live, you fucking zed.

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