“Jersey Shore” makes a lot more sense now: new research shows some people can develop an addiction to tanning similar to an addiction to nicotene. Previoulsy, scientists never really understood why some people can develop a drug-like dependence. It turns out, a single gene might be to blame.In a new study, researchers analyzed saliva from a group of people with signs of tanning addiction, and another handful who tanned but were not dependent, MedLine Plus reported. After sorting through over 300,000 gene variants, they found the groups displayed one specific gene differently, called PTCHD2. Interestingly, other genes normally linked to addictive behavior did not differ between groups — which study author Brenda Cartmel, a researcher at the Yale School of Public Health, pointed out in the news release could be because the sample size was small.Mores studies will need to be done to further verify the connection between PTCHD2 and full-on tanning addiction, but these findings give scientists a starting point to take a more informed look at the dangerous dependence on tanning and how we can counteract it to reduce skin cancer diagnoses and deaths.According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 76,100 new cases of invasive melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed this year in the U.S. They estimate that approximately 9,710 will die from it. Tanning in any way, and especially using indoor tanning beds, increases your risk significantly. Take our Safe Sun Quiz to find out if you’re an SPF superstar or if your sun habits could use some improvement!Related Articles:This Woman Has Had Skin Cancer 77 TimesHalf of the Nation’s Top Colleges Have Tanning Beds