Whole Life Magazine

February / March 2019

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/1079232

Contents of this Issue


Page 10 of 31

February/March 2019 11 healthy living By Laura G. Owens Wouldn't it be nice to know long before you felt the burn of the sun that you were overdoing it? Not just so you could avoid painful blisters, but so you could guard against skin cancer. An estimated 178,000 new cases of melanoma were predicted for 2018. Every hour, one person dies of this dreaded cancer. Scientists at Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering have developed the world's smallest wearable solar- powered UV detection device. It was originally designed to measure precise amounts of light for phototherapy to treat several health conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, blue light phototherapy for newborns with jaundice, and white light for seasonal affective disorder. The device can monitor someone's total daily sun exposure, and remarkably distinguish various forms of exposure. "UVB is the shortest wavelength and the most dangerous in terms of developing cancer. A single photon of UVB light is 1,000 times more erythrogenic, or redness inducing, compared to a single photon of UVA," explains researcher John Rogers. In addition, the effect of sun exposure on the body varies depending on weather patterns and where in the world you are at the time. "If you're out in the sun at noon in the Caribbean, that sunlight energy is very different than noon on the same day in Chicago," said co-senior study author Dr. Steve Xu. The device is incredibly user-friendly. Small, lightweight, easy to use, waterproof, and nearly indestructible, it never needs to be recharged and it interacts with a user's phone. "We hope people with information about their UV exposure will develop healthier habits when out in the sun," said Xu. "UV light is ubiquitous and carcinogenic. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. Right now, people don't know how much UV light they are actually getting. This device helps you maintain an awareness, and for skin cancer survivors, could also keep their dermatologists informed." TINY WEARABLE DEVICE WARNS OF UV EXPOSURE WE'RE PROGRAMMED TO FORGIVE HAD SEX WITH EX? DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT Rock Body YOUR We're more likely to forgive someone who's behaved badly than we think. Humans, it turns out, have a predisposition to "update" their impression of someone even after the person does something rotten. We do this because we're social creatures and it serves us well to give people the benefit of the doubt. This may (at least partly) explain why some people stay in bad relationships. In a study published in the September 2018 issue of Nature Human Behavior researchers found humans are surprisingly flexible in forgiving someone for a transgression. "The brain forms social impressions in a way that can enable forgiveness," said Yale psychologist Molly Crockett, senior author of the paper. "Because people sometimes behave badly by accident, we need to be able to update bad impressions that turn out to be mistaken. Otherwise, we might end relationships prematurely and miss out on the many benefits of social connection." Have you ever jumped into bed with an ex? While some people might think you're a glutton for punishment, hitting the sheets with a former partner doesn't necessarily make getting over your break- up any harder. In a study published in the 2018 Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers surveyed participants to find out if they recently experienced a break-up. Two months later they asked if the participants tried to have any physical contacts with their former partners, how emotionally attached they were, and how they felt after each day. The study found that sex with an ex didn't get in the way of people's recovery from a break-up. A second study had the same results. In addition, while people pining away were more likely to seek sexual activity with their ex, this didn't affect their ability to get over the break-up. On the contrary, they felt more positive in everyday life. "This research suggests that societal hand wringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted," says Wayne State University psychology professor and author of the study Stephanie Spielmann, who thinks that the findings challenge common beliefs. "The fact that sex with an ex is found to be most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggests that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people's motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex." Left Photo: J. Rogers, Northwestern University

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - February / March 2019