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Health Studies

Mutant Skin Cells Compete With Each Other To Cause Cancer (VIDEO)

Exposure to direct sunlight raises the risks for skin cancers



skin cancer cells
Skin cancer cells. Photo Credit: Pixabay

A study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell reveals that exposure to direct sunlight creates a battlefield for skin cells in our bodies. The skin cells compete with each other in a constantly mutating battle with only the strongest cells growing to become cancers. Humans are impervious to this battle for supremacy among mutated skin cells until the fittest grows into cancer tumors.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the MRC Cancer Unit of the University of Cambridge. The research was run on lab mice.

Exposure to Direct Sunlight Raises the Risks for Skin Cancers

Non-malignant skin cancer in people comes in two forms. There is basal cell skin cancer and squamous cell skin cancer. Both types of skin cancer cells develop in areas of the skin exposed to sunlight. Basal cell skin cancer is the commonest of the two, but squamous cell skin cancer is the fastest growing. More than 140,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are recorded in the United Kingdom every year.

People who bask, work or trek in the sun develop various cell mutations in their skin. Only a few of these may grow into skin cancer. Why this is so remains largely unknown.

However, scientists demonstrated that mutated skin cells form clones that battle one another. Many of the mutated clones die off in the battle. This ongoing battle between cells in the skin is unfelt by any individual until the mutant cells grow cancerous. The normal patchwork of mutated skin cells spread to several millimeters of tissue, noted Professor Phil Jones of Wellcome Institute.

“The reason that people get non-melanoma skin cancer is because so much of their skin has been colonized by competing mutant cells over time,” said Dr. Ben Hall of the University of Cambridge’s MRC Cancer Unit.

The researchers established that when people are excessively exposed to sunlight, they develop new skin cell mutations that battle for prominence. The winner has the capability to grow into cancer tumors.

For the experiment, how skin cell mutations develop in people was modeled on lab mice. The scientists paid particular attention to the p53 gene which drives non-melanoma skin cancers.

Skin Tissues Are Incredibly Well-Designed To Tolerate Cell Mutations and Still Function

The research team created a genetic “change over” that could be used to turn on p53 or switch it off. When switched on, the change-over use another similar gene to replace p53 so that mutant skin cells can control their own environment. This gave power to the cells to develop faster and spread on skin tissue which grew darker. Six months after, the pigmented skin tissue returned to its normal color with no tellable difference between the mutant and normal skin.

Following this, the researchers evaluated how sunlight played a role on the mutations of the skin cells. They exposed mice with p53 skin mutations to low-level ultraviolent light such as sunlight that cannot burn. The cell mutations grew faster and larger to the point observed at six months in non-UV radiated clones for several weeks. Incidentally, cancer did not result even after nine months of exposure not minding the fast cell growth.

Dr. Kasumi Murai of the Sanger Institute said this development was proof that the human skin “tissues are incredibly well-designed to tolerate these mutations and still function” without interruptions unless of course strong cell mutants grow into cancers.

Brad is a dedicated writer and author. He finished from college and then proceeded to university to study Nursing. He loves to take care of the sick and educate them on what ails them. When not writing or caring for the sick, Brad can be seen playing tennis with friends.

Health Studies

Studies of Second-Hand Marijuana Smoke and Drug Testing



The known health risks of secondhand cigarette smoke to the lungs and heart raise questions about whether the similar secondhand marijuana smoke exposure poses same health risks. Not only adults, but also children, and even pets may suffer from accidental ingestion of secondhand marijuana.

Since cannabis has gotten more potent, it has been legalized in many states across the U.S. This puts nonsmokers at the increasing risk of inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke, which can ultimately influence their drug testing. This is why they frequently ask about the potential psychoactive result of such exposure and whether an individual who has been exposed to it could fail a drug test.

Recent studies show that while secondhand marijuana smoke can negatively affect the health of the exposed individuals, it will unlikely make them fail their drug test.

In one study, researchers measured THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) content in the blood samples of people who did not use marijuana, but had spent more than three hours in a well-ventilated space with individuals smoking it. It was found that the blood samples of non-smoking participants tested positive with THC, however the levels were below the 50 ng/ml required to fail regular drug testing.

Another study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology has something else to say. This research suggests that inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke in some cases can lead to a failed drug test. In this study nonsmokers were exposed to extreme marijuana smoke in poorly ventilated rooms with smokers. After that, the scientists tested the urine samples of the nonsmokers for 9-carboxy-THC, and only one sample out of 12 surpassed typically detectable levels (50 ng/ml). This happened after the nonsmoking participant was exposed to 4-6 hours of marijuana smoke.  

The THC levels in urine of nonsmokers were rapidly decreasing with time, which shows that drug tests can be passed in a matter of hours or even minutes depending on the exposure.

Although most of the samples were tested negative during the urine test, this study shows that positive result is possible, but only in the extreme conditions.

Researchers also said that THC in urine of secondhand smokers could be detected using a more sensitive tests with cutoff levels less than 50 ng/ml. Fortunately, organizations and workplaces don’t employ such drug tests.  

So, this is a bit of a relief for people who do not smoke themselves, but have weed-using friends.

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Health Studies

An interview with Dr. Dushyant Singh (founder of Medical Cannabis Clinic Australia, an online clinic)



Medical cannabis clinic Australia is an online clinic founded by Dr Dushyant Singh to help Australians start on medical cannabis for their chronic medical conditions. We interviewed Dr Dushyant Singh to learn more about his Online clinic.

What inspired you to start up Medical Cannabis clinic?

I have a vast experience in Chronic disease management, and Very often, I come across medical conditions where conventional treatments have failed or causing significant side effects. Being from India, where there is evidence of the use of medical cannabis as one of the 1st medications in the world, I firmly believe this to be a great medication. And after the legalization of medical marijuana in Australia, every patient I have prescribed Medical cannabis the result has been better than my expectation each time.

We need to change the way we think about marijuana – not as a drug of addiction but as an outstanding therapeutic agent. Used judicially and responsibly under the guidance of doctors, the benefits for managing chronic medical conditions with our patients, are clear.

For me, being a medical cannabis prescriber has provided some of my most satisfying experiences as a doctor. The feedback from patients has been impressive:

I still have pain, but it doesn’t bother me now.”

I feel more motivated.”

I feel clearer in my head.”

I got my life back.”

Seeing medical cannabis alleviate the physical pain and mental suffering of patients is incredibly rewarding. Feedback like this is why we become healthcare providers.

What services do you offer?

Through my online medical cannabis clinic I offer eligibility assessment for medical cannabis, then help the patient select the type of product which can be dried flower, CBD oil, THC oil, CBD buccal spray and CBD crystal.  Once the treatment plan is decided, I offer patient education and they need to sign a written consent form. As a part of 1st appointment, I apply for government approval for medical cannabis.

After starting medical cannabis, then next is monthly follow up, its essential part of treatment.

What fees you charge and what is the cost of medical cannabis?

For the 1st consultation, my fees is $199 and monthly follow up cost is $89, the cost of medical cannabis can be up to $10/day. DVA and private health insurance are paying for medical cannabis.

Where do you get the medical cannabis from?

I only do consultation and its similar to any other medical consultation and I write scripts and send to the pharmacy who has the licence for dispensing, they can even post it to your address. The pharmacy order the medical cannabis from the local importers.

What medical conditions Medical cannabis are used for?

There are many medical conditions where medical cannabis has been successfully used and has shown to be effective.  Some of the medical conditions I have prescribed medical cannabis are

Chronic Pain Conditions

Chronic non-cancer pain

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Headache

Fibromyalgia pain

Arthritis Pain

Chronic Hip pain

Chronic Back pain

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Pain


Chronic pelvic pain


Neuropathic Pain

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Peripheral Neuropathy


Palliative Care

Palliative Pain


Neurological Conditions

Multiple Sclerosis Pain

Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity




Sleep Disorders

Chronic Insomnia

Sleep Apnea



Cancer pain

Chemo-induced Nausea

Anorexia and wasting associated with cancer or chronic illness


Paediatric Conditions

Paediatric epilepsy



Tourette’s Syndrome


Psychiatric Conditions



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder




Has lasted three months or longer

also, has not responded to conventional medical treatment, or has side effects


How does your online clinic work?

Patients can go to my  website  and on the appointment page they can select 1st consultation, pay the fee online, then it will give them the option to choose a date and time of consultation with me and a form to fill medical details. The patient gets confirmation details with a link for teleconsultation in their e-mail.

They get reminders before the appointment time.

During the consultation, I take further details needed for assessment for medical cannabis. Once prescribed, we have our team will contact each patient at a time interval of 1 week, three weeks and monthly after that for follow up.

I help patients with dose titration and once good results are achived I help them slowly wean off other medications.

Thank you Dushyant for sharing your thoughts with us!
If you have more questions, you can follow up with Dr Dushyant Singh for Medical cannabis  at:

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Health Studies

Playing With Your Phone Could Result In Growing A Horn In Your Skull



That sounds like a completely absurd title, doesn’t it? New research has been done in bio mechanics that suggests young people are growing hornlike spikes in their skulls as a result of excessive phone usage, caused by the consistent and prolonged forward tilt of the head. Always tilting your head forward will shift weight to the back of the head, which – over time – results in bone growth.

Australian researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland have published academic papers that argue that the prevalence of bone growth is due to smartphones that require users to take up more unnatural postures. According to the researchers, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of technology resulting in a skeletal adaption in humans.

In the research, young people were studied, and the researchers bring up the point that if the effects can already be seen, what will they look like in several decades? After all, mobile phones are still a new invention, and their prevalence is still in its early days.

The size of the bone spurs that the researchers found were thought to be large if they were between 3 to 5 millimetres in length.

This is not a hastily put together research paper, as the authors have reportedly been working on it for the past 3 years. In that time, they have analyzed numerous neck X-rays.

This study highlights the importance of teaching correct posture. One can think back to the 70’s, for example, when the effect of soft drinks and dental hygiene was not properly understood. Now, these things are common knowledge. Perhaps in a few decades we’ll be looking back at today and wondering how our posture was so bad.

We will be following this story and posting any updates as they come.

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