Tanning Bonus

It worked for frogs, Dr. Norman Levine reasoned, so why wouldn't Melanotan, a synthetic form of a natural hormone called Alpha MSH, work for humans? When frogs are given a shot of the stuff, it triggers rapid pigmentation of their skin. Perhaps, the University of Arizona dermatologist thought, Melanotan might help humans develop a tan without their having to expose themselves to the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun.

With approval from the Food and Drug Administration, Levine administered a series of Melanotan shots to a group of 10 volunteer men, all of whom soon turned various shades of brown. But...

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