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ARTICLE

Positive and negative effects of UV

The Earth’s atmosphere blocks most of the Sun’s UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. The small amount that gets through has both positive and negative effects. Positive ...

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ARTICLE

NZ skin cancer statistics

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand. New skin cancers total about 67,000 per year, compared to a total of 16 000 for all other types of cancer. Our skin cancer rates are the ...

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ARTICLE

How do people find out that they have cancer?

Cancer is often discovered when people go to their doctor because they have discovered a lump or spot or they have symptoms that the doctor decides need to be investigated further. There is no ...

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ARTICLE

Nanoscience explained

‘Nano’ means small, right? Sort of. To scientists, ‘nano’ doesn’t just mean small. It means almost unimaginably small. A nanometre (nm) is a billionth of a metre, so when scientists refer to ...

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ARTICLE

What is UV?

Ultraviolet (UV) light is part of a family of radiations called the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. UV is just beyond the violet end of visible light and has smaller wavelengths and greater ...

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ARTICLE

Skin cancer risk factors

Certain people are at a higher risk than others of developing skin cancer. A person’s risk for developing skin cancer depends largely on two groups of factors – genetic and environmental. Genetic ...

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ARTICLE

What is cancer?

Cancer is a word that can send shockwaves through a family. In some cases, it is completely treatable, and in others cases, it can change a seemingly healthy person into a very sick one in a ...

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ARTICLE

You, me and UV – introduction

Often we hear of ultraviolet radiation (UV) in the media. The message given is that it is a dangerous and invisible component of sunlight that is best avoided – too much UV of any kind can age ...

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ARTICLE

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It begins in the melanocyte cells of the skin, which are found in the bottom layer of the skin’s epidermis and in the middle layer of the eye ...

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ARTICLE

Skin cancer

Research shows a clear link between UV and skin cancer. The skin of an average adult has a total surface of about 1.8 square metres and a total weight of about 11 kilograms. This makes our skin ...

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ARTICLE

Squamous cell carcinoma

A squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumour of the squamous epithelial cells. Squamous cells are flat and look like fish scales (‘squamous’ means ‘scaly’). Squamous cells make up most of the ...

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ARTICLE

Quantum dots and medical research

Nanoscale silicon quantum dots are being developed in New Zealand. They will be able to locate and show up cancerous cells in humans, and deliver drugs to them. What are quantum dots? Quantum ...

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ARTICLE

The problem with sunbeds

UV in sunbeds is 3–8 times stronger than the midday summer sun. Anyone who uses a sunbed increases their risk of skin cancer. How do sunbeds work? Sunbeds (and tanning booths and tanning beds) ...

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ARTICLE

Cohesin proteins and human development

Proteins have many different roles within our bodies. They are coded for by our genes and form the basis of living tissues. They also play a central role in biological processes. For example ...

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ACTIVITY

Characteristics of normal and cancerous cells

In this activity, students complete a graphic organiser to explore the characteristics of normal and cancerous cells. By the end of this activity, students should be able to: describe the ...

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ARTICLE

Sea sponges and rongoā

Rongoā is the Māori term for medicines produced from native flora and fauna. Rongoā are still used extensively today, and resources are carefully collected in a sustainable manner. But what ...

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