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Skin cells taken from patients with a rare genetic disorder are up to ten times more sensitive to damage from ultraviolet A (AVA) radiation in laboratory tests, than those from a healthy population, according to new research from the University of Bath. It is hoped the work, which has involved designing a brand new molecule with potential to be added to sun cream, could benefit those with Friedrich’s Ataxia (FA), as well as those with other disorders characterised by mitochondrial iron overload, notably Wolfram Syndrome and Parkinson’s disease, where UVA rays from the sun may pose particular challenges.

Following a space flight to the International Space Station and back to earth thousands of tiny worms are set to help researchers understand more about muscle loss in astronauts. During spaceflight an astronaut’s body changes. Losing muscle mass can affect their ability to work on a long space mission. Astronauts can lose up to 40% of their muscle after 6 months in space.

Worms can tell us more about human ageing than you might think, according to research led by the Babraham Institute. In a cluster of papers, the latest of which has just been published, shows how researchers have used the tiny worm C. elegans to understand more about the link between metabolism and ageing.