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This Week in JAMA: Jun 29, 2011


Online first in JAMA this week, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine's June Robinson and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Michael Bigby present a commentary on the use of sunscreen to prevent melanoma. Evidence from several trials shows that regular use of sunscreen can prevent cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. One such study, conducted in Australia, included 1.621 adults randomized to regular sunscreen use or discretionary use, including no use at all, the Robinson and Bigby write. In the 10 years after cessation of the trial, 11 new primary melanomas were identified among the 812 people in the sunscreen group compared with 22 melanomas in the discretionary use group. "Since exposure to UV radiation is the only known modifiable cause of melanoma, this study is a potential 'game changer' for the primary prevention of melanoma," Robinson and Bigby say. "Patients at high risk for skin cancer because of phenotypic characteristics (fair skin, freckling, and tendency to sunburn) who live in or visit sunny climates or who have a family history of melanoma should routinely and thoroughly apply sunscreen before going outside." They add that sun protection counseling is relevant for people at risk for developing melanomas.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.