width=283A study showed that the risk of melanoma is greater for fair-skinned people with more moles than those who have darker skin and fewer moles.

The scientists at the University of Queensland are investigating the effectiveness of highly protective sunscreens and whether a more potent version was needed and required.

Dr. Elke Hacker said that the study would be the first human trial examining the effect of sunlight on melanocytes - a melanin producing cells in the skin and whether SPF 30-Plus sunscreen offered an effective barrier to damaging UV radiation.

Melocytes are the pigmented cells of the skin that give skin its color and are also a sign to melanoma according to Dr. Hacker who is a post doctoral fellow with QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.

Dr. Hacker also said that if conventional sunscreens were found to be not potent enough, the study could point to the development of super sunscreens capable of boosting the protection of melanocytes. A new super sunscreens may be necessary to reduce Australia's 900 melanoma deaths a year.

Brisbane-based recruits are now sought for the study, which will involve a controlled exposure to the equivalent of 20 to 25 minutes of Queensland sunshine.

The research would also probe the way people with different skin types responded to sunlight. And by better understanding how sunlight causes melanoma, we hope to develop more effective prevention strategies to control the disease.

Dr. Hacker also said despite ongoing campaigns to reduce sun exposure and wear sunscreen, more than 8,000 Australians were still diagnosed with melanoma every year.