Don’t go tanning at 4 in the morning (at least if you are mouse)

Even though the Nobel Chemistry Price committee rewarded Dr. Aziz Sancar for his DNA repair work, he is focusing in studying the circadian clock now. One of reason for this change is that genes involved in nucleotide excision repair genes (NER, a key pathway in DNA repair that he studied) have different expression levels throughout the day and are controlled by the cell’s circadian rhythms. In this paper, he shows that behavior for XPA, an important NER protein. In addition, he correlates its expression with the odds of mice getting skin cancer depending on the time they are exposed to UV light. Unfortunately, these results are hard to extrapolate to humans as we don’t have the same circadian clock as mice, so I can’t really tell you what time of the day is best to go sunbathe!

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