Related topics: stem cells · cells · genes · skin cancer · skin cells

Skin in balance: Joint forces of polarity and cell mechanics

The cell polarity protein Par3 controls mechanical changes in the skin and plays an important role in cell division. Malfunction can lead to DNA damages. The balance of the system is of great importance—while too much differentiation ...

Fungal compound deodorizes skunk smell

Being sprayed by a skunk is no fun for people or their pets, and the strong, stinky secretions can serve as a nasty reminder of the wildlife encounter for days or weeks. Available "de-skunking" formulas often either don't ...

Theory that ridged skin helps dolphins debunked

A dolphin is obviously not a golf ball. However, many scientists believed that the way one slips through the water and the other through the air owed to the same cause: similarities in surface texture and their effect on ...

New tuberculosis tests pave way for cow vaccination programs

Skin tests that can distinguish between cattle that are infected with tuberculosis (TB) and those that have been vaccinated against the disease have been created by an international team of scientists. The traditional TB ...

Stripping down bacterial armor: A new way to fight anthrax

A new study led by Dr. Antonella Fioravanti in the lab of Prof. Han Remaut (VIB-VUB Center for Structural Biology) has shown that removing the armor of the bacterium that causes anthrax slows its growth and negatively affects ...

How electronic skin could help people with disabilities

You might not know what they're called, but you probably use them quite a lot. Virtual buttons, also called soft keys, are on smartphones, ATMs and computer monitors, doing the work of buttons though they are just an image.

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Skin

The skin is the outer covering of the body. In humans, it is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of mesodermal tissues, and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin of a different nature exists in amphibians, reptiles, birds. Human skin is not unlike that of most other mammals except that it is not protected by a pelt and appears hairless though in fact nearly all human skin is covered with hair follicles. The adjective cutaneous literally means "of the skin" (from Latin cutis, skin).

Because it interfaces with the environment, skin plays a key role in protecting (the body) against pathogens and excessive water loss. Its other functions are insulation, temperature regulation, sensation, synthesis of vitamin D, and the protection of vitamin B folates. Severely damaged skin will try to heal by forming scar tissue. This is often discolored and depigmented.

In humans, skin pigmentation varies among populations, and skin type can range from dry to oily. Such skin variety provides a rich and diverse habit for bacteria which number roughly a 1000 species from 19 phyla.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA