When ultraviolet (UV) radiation damages skin cells, pyrimidine dimers form in the DNA. The dimers are either repaired and the cell can divide, or the cell dies by apoptosis and is shed as the skin peels. Researchers are examining various biochemicals that might be added to sunblock products to lessen the harm from sunburn, without abolishing its protective function. In one experiment, researchers exposed mice to UV radiation with or without a cream containing interleukin-12, a type of immune system protein called a cytokine. The treated mice had fewer thymine dimers and fewer peeling skin cells than did the mice that did not receive in.terleukin-12.
1. What are two conclusions that explain these observations?
2. Before interleukin-12 is added to sunscreens products for human use, what further experiments should be done?
3. If the pyrimidine dimers are repaired, is the mechanism more likely to be nucleotide excision or base excision?
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