Nuclear & Renewable Energy
About this class
Studying the pros and cons of nuclear power and the range of renewable energies. Students also disucss the decisions and challenegs in site identification & development.
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This is fascinating research and another example of epigenetic influence on health of parents and their offspring. I just found an article entitled, “Cigarette Smoking and DNA methylation” (Lee & Pausova 2017). It links nicotine (as a carcinogen) and cancer. Also, our genetics class was just studying research whereby scientists ‘methylated’ the p16 gene, normally a tumor suppressor gene and made it a “methylation magnet.” This caused a higher incidence of spontaneous cancers in mice.
The carcinogens in cigarette smoke include: formaldehyde, chromium, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and arsenic. These ingredients must cause DNA damage and could cause a myriad of epigenetic diseases like cancer and…autism.
Lee, Ken W. K., and Zdenka Pausova. “Cigarette Smoking and DNA Methylation.” Frontiers in Genetics 4 (2013): 132. PMC. Web. 12 May 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3713237/
This review caught my attention as it was only last year or so that the Zika virus was making all the headlines. Those of us who followed the ‘epidemic’ from a genetic standpoint must have heard the Fed’s approval to release genetically modified mosquitos to fight Zika.
Now I wonder which plan would be more effective (and practical) against malaria and other mosquito-born illnesses. Would we somehow expose mosquitos on a mass scale to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (by adding the yeast to all water sources), or release GMO mosquitos into the wild?
One thing I am certain of, thanks to lateral gene transfer and plasmids, mosquito-born viruses would probably adapt at some point regardless of the strategy.
Well hello…you do look a bit sunburned I must say. Having trouble with your melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) or melanocortin 1 receptor? Not me, fortunately. Just look at my tan! But you say it is possible, even for those who do not express the phenotypic traits associated with faulty expression of the gene to be at risk for melanoma? Do you mean at greater risk than the normal population? Hmmm. I’m putting my shirt back on and am scurrying back to the shade. I just opened my laptop (good WIFI at the beach hotspot) and found an article entitled, “MC1R melanocortin 1 receptor [ Homo sapiens (human) ]”
From what I’m reading, it seems that MSH must bind to its receptor to activate it so it stimulates “eumelanin” synthesis. Apparently eumelanin is photoprotective but the second type of melanin, red pheomelanin, can contribute to UV induced skin damage. It generates free radicals after exposure to UV radiation.
I wonder how I can get tested for this particular allele…But I’ve heard bad things about 23sunburnedandme.com. I guess I should be careful. I have read articles about the increased levels of UVB in recent years and how it’s related to ozone levels etc.…
I guess my sun tanning days are over. Besides, I don’t want to look like I work all day in the sun do I? Oops, yes I do.
Thank you for writing this piece. It sparked my interest and I wondered if studies using vasopressin had been done on other mammals or even people. I decided to research your questions you stated at the end of your critique and found an article in New Scientist.com entitled “Monogamy gene found in People,” written by Priya Shetty. The author describes a study in which they found variations in the gene coding for a vasopressin receptor. This variation in the gene coding influenced how successful men were at pair bonding, according to their scores on a behavioral test.
The study stated that men having two copies of the gene variation “…were more likely to be unmarried than men with one or none, and if they were married, they were twice as likely to have marital crisis.” (Shetty, 2008). This makes me wonder if these people with the gene variation can take a supplement or something to increase their vasopressin levels. Indeed, the last sentence of the article states that the team’s next task was to test a nasal vasopressin spray and attempt to measure jealousy and altruism states!
Shetty, Priya. Monogomy Gene Found in People. New Scientist, 1 September 2008. Web: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14641-monogamy-gene-found-in-people/
Habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation and human development. This is considered as the major cause of diminishing biodiversity globally. Many species are faced with extinction.
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