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

Space station leaves 'microbial fingerprint' on astronauts

We all carry around our own microbiome, a world of microorganisms that live on our skin and in our bodies, playing important roles in maintaining health as we interact with the rest of the world. Everywhere we go, our microbiome ...

Mechanisms responsible for tissue growth

In adult tissue, the number of cells in tissues and organs remains constant, and any new cells produced by cell division need to be compensated by the loss of other cells. In contrast, during postnatal growth, an excess of ...

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.

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