Posted by: Rob Lester | August 13, 2010

Melanin—God’s sunblock

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight can damage DNA in the nucleus of a cell.  Melanin is a pigment which protects the skin cell nuclei from damage.  Melanin is produced by structures called melanocytes. No matter skin color, everyone has the same number of melanocytes.  Some people just produce more melanin.  Melanocytes are concentrated in certain areas more than others.  For example, there are 440,000 per square inch on the palm of the hand, but over one million on the back of the hand which gets much more sun exposure.  This is a design feature.  Melanin protects cell nuclei by using chemical reaction to turn it darker which allows it to absorb more UV rays.  In response to heavier sun exposure, more melanin is produced which results in the entire skin appearing darker—a suntan).  The majority of melanocytes are situated as a protective umbrella on the sunny side of the cell nucleus.  The process of how melanocytes send melanin to skin cells is complex to say the least.  God knew humans would need immediate protection from the damaging rays of the sun.  That is why He placed these incredibly complex structures in the human body from the very beginning.  As the Bible says, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

ICR Aug. 2009 “Melanin, the Sunblock That’s Just Skin Deep”    by Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. http://www.icr.org/article/4786/

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