18 Stories

A Provocative View: We're Overdoing It on Sunscreen

Writer for 'Outside' makes the case that the sun isn't as evil as we think

(Newser) - The advice is ever-present and official: Slather on the sunscreen and keep evil, cancer-causing rays of the sun away from your body at all times. But in a piece at Outside , Rowan Jacobsen presents a provocative counterpoint. Rounding up research from a "rogue band of researchers," he makes... More »

Moscow Saw the Sun a Grand Total of 6 Minutes Last Month

Meanwhile, other parts of Russia are in a deep freeze so cold people's eyelashes are freezing

(Newser) - If Russian winters weren't miserable and dreary, we wouldn't have Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. In fact, the month of December 2000 saw just three hours of sunlight in Moscow, the New York Times reports. That benchmark was just shattered, however, with Moscow experiencing its "darkest December" ever, the... More »

This Is the Fabled Northwest Passage at Midnight

An AP photographer documents

(Newser) - Up in the Arctic this time of year, you'll find the "midnight sun." Its warm light is comparable to what occurs in photography's "golden hour"—just after sunrise or just before sunset. Instead of lasting an hour, in this case, it lasts all night... More »

Alaska Town Bids Farewell to the Sun

See you in January

(Newser) - At 12:54pm local time Friday, the sun will rise in Barrow, Alaska. Thirty-six minutes later, it will set—and won't be seen again there until Jan. 22. But a two-month-long "polar night" is no strange occurrence for those living 1,300 miles south of the North Pole.... More »

It's Scientifically Better to Be Born in Summer

Summer babies grow taller, are generally healthier: study

(Newser) - There's more reason to be jealous of summer babies than all those birthday parties by the pool: They may be healthier adults, according to a new study. University of Cambridge scientists surveyed roughly 500,000 Britons aged 40 to 69 for their birth dates, height, weight, and the age... More »

What It's Like to Be Allergic to Sunlight

Condition makes life lonely and complicated, sufferers say

(Newser) - A mother and her 13-year-old son in England suffer from a rare allergy that turns sunlight into a source of agony. It's called erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), an enzyme deficiency that makes the skin's nerve endings hyper-sensitive to UV rays. Exposure can cause itching and pain, and at times... More »

Morning Light Could Be Key to Weight Loss

Light exposure kick-starts metabolism

(Newser) - Getting a good dose of early morning light on a regular basis appears to be a simple but remarkably effective way of maintaining a healthy weight, according to a groundbreaking new study. Researchers found that regardless of caloric intake, people who had more early light exposure were the most likely... More »

Sunny Days Help You Think

Cloudiness reduces cognitive agility in depressed people, researchers found

(Newser) - Does a cloudy day leave you groggy and unable to focus? If so, a study suggests you’re not alone: Cloudy days, regardless of season, can have an effect on cognitive function, MSNBC reports. Researchers cross-referencing the results of cognitive tests from 16,800 Americans with data on daily sunshine... More »

Not Enough Sun, Milk: US Kids Lack Vitamin D

(Newser) - Too much time inside has left millions of American kids with shockingly low levels of Vitamin D, two new studies conclude. Roughly 9% of all 1- to 21-year-olds—7.6 million—were found to be Vitamin D deficient—putting them at higher risk for bone problems, heart disease, diabetes, and... More »

Vitamin D's Vital Role Heads for the Spotlight

(Newser) - Vitamin D is "one hot topic" among nutritionists, the Los Angeles Times reports, and it's about to get hotter. More than 2,000 studies on the so-called sunshine vitamin have been published this year alone, exploring its role in everything from reducing the risk of pancreatic cancer and diabetes... More »

Leaded Gas May Have Slowed Climate Change

(Newser) - The dirty fumes of leaded gas may have curbed global warming for a few decades in the 20th century, the New Scientist reports. Researchers in Washington state have found that lead particles are key to creating ice crystals, which help form clouds—which aid global cooling by reflecting sunlight back... More »

Parkinson's Linked to Lack of Vitamin D

Research finds Parkinson's patients deficient in sunshine vitamin

(Newser) - New research has strongly linked Parkinson's disease to a lack of vitamin D in the body, the BBC reports. Studies found that 55% of elderly patients with Parkinson's had low levels of the vitamin, compared to 36% of healthy elderly people. Researchers are unsure whether the deficiency is a cause... More »

Vitamin D's Grade: A+, or Incomplete?

'Sunshine vitamin' can stave off disease, but may be risky too

(Newser) - Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin," has been getting plenty of good press lately, leading some to ask why more people aren't guzzling it to help stave off heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. But as the government looks to update its guidelines, many experts warn that bombarding people with... More »

Vitamin D May Curb Breast Cancer: Study

Spreading tumors, early death linked to low levels in women

(Newser) - Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to the spread of breast cancer tumors to other parts of the body, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail. Women diagnosed with breast cancer were twice as likely to see it spread and 73% more likely to die early if they had low levels... More »

Sun May Lower Risk of Some Cancers

Exposure increases vitamin D, helps fight non-skin varieties

(Newser) - Getting a little bit more sun may actually reduce the risk of dying from some forms of cancer, a new study says. Brief exposure spurs the production of vitamin D in the body, which helps patients survive bouts with internal cancers—colon, lung, breast, and prostate. That benefit may outweigh... More »

Climate Change Can Even Muck Up Deepest Sea Creatures

Ocean life in the dark still relies on sunlight

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered that even the bizarre creatures that live on chemical ooze in the blackest, deepest parts of the ocean aren't safe from environmental disasters. It turns out that larvae of tiny deep-sea shrimp live on microscopic plants that rely on sunlight and filter down from the surface. More »

Chavez Hands Nation New Time Zone

Setting clocks back 30 minutes will 'condition brains'

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez plans to bump clocks in his nation back half an hour next month to add daylight to citizens' lives and create "a more fair distribution of the sunrise," Reuters reports. The change will particularly help poor children who wake up before dawn to go... More »

Heatwaves Double Over 100 Years

Number of 'extremely hot days' have tripled, Euro study shows

(Newser) - The duration of heatwaves in Western Europe has doubled and the frequency of extremely hot days has nearly tripled since 1880, according to a study released yesterday. Periods of sweltering weather last an average of 3 days now compared to 1.5  in 1880, a shift that forebodes a higher... More »

18 Stories