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Any bio-related benefit of UV radiation?

  1. Oct 20, 2018 #1
    We're all pretty familiar with the harmful effects of UV radiation on biological organisms, including us. My question is whether there is any necessary or beneficial effect of UV radiation. That is, if our atmosphere suddenly started blocking out 100% of UV while passing all other radiation as normal, would there be any detrimental effect on life on Earth? Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2018 #2


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  4. Oct 21, 2018 #3
    Thank you very much!
  5. Oct 21, 2018 #4
    Vision in bees
  6. Oct 21, 2018 #5
    Another "Thank you!"
  7. Oct 22, 2018 #6

    jim mcnamara

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    Reptiles require UVB to make Vitamin D, and they can see UVA. Humans have trichromatic vision, three wavelengths of light. Reptiles generally have tetrachromatic vision, receptor cells in the retina that respond to 4 different wavelengths of light. Lighting and UVB overall effect reproduction, too, as part of circadian (day length) responses.
    http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Habitats-Care/Reptile-Lighting-Information/ <- Pet owners guide to lighting for reptile enclosures.

    PS: the reptilian parietal (third) eye is very interesting. You may want to do a search on it.
  8. Oct 22, 2018 #7


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    Back 30 years ago, UV treatment in dermatology was used as part of treating acne. I think it was used to kill certain kinds of bacteria on the skin and to some shallow depth, but I'm not sure.

    Ah, Google and Wikipedia to the rescue... :smile:


  9. Oct 25, 2018 #8
    My thanks to all!
  10. Oct 27, 2018 #9
    I was going to post a similar, related question: There are some vacuum cleaners that use UV radiation to kill bacteria in the home; is it realistic to use UV radiation in hospitals instead of soap and water to keep personnel's hands sterilized?
  11. Oct 27, 2018 #10
    I would think there would be damage to the skin if exposure was above a certain intensity. The sun ages as well damages the skin and the links to uv and melanoma are well documented
  12. Nov 9, 2018 #11
    I am NOT expert, so please don't believe in what I say totally.

    Recently I read a new research on the web believing that children being outdoor under sunlight for 10 - 15 (I forget the exact hours) every week in addition to their outdoor activities in school will have positive effect for prevention on myopia, while they also believe that there is little linkage between long-term reading closely and myopia, in contrast to traditional belief
  13. Nov 9, 2018 #12


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    Please post the link. Thanks.
  14. Nov 9, 2018 #13
  15. Nov 10, 2018 #14


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    This is true, though the effect probably is not related to UV radiation. Rather, indoors, you cannot see very far, so your eyes don't get the opportunity to focus on very distant object. Being outside (during the day) gives one's eyes exercise in focusing on distant objects, helping to prevent near-nearsightedness.
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