Map The DNA Of A Smoker!
June 16, 2017
Scientists had discovered long ago that cigarette smoking could damage our DNA. Now the researchers from the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine have developed the first high-resolution method of mapping out smoking-induced DNA damage.
WHO DEVELOPED IT?
The team led by the Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar, MD, Ph.D., the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UNC’s School of Medicine developed this technique. The research team first developed a technique that maps the sites on the genome that are undergoing repair following a common type of DNA damage. They then used that technique to map all damage caused by the major chemical carcinogen – benzo(a)pyrene.
HOW WILL THIS HELP?
Maps like these will help scientists better understand how smoking-induced cancers originate, why some people are more vulnerable or resistant to cancers, and how these cancers can be prevented. Such specific evidence of the harm smoking causes at the cellular level might induce some smokers to kick the habit as well.
It is the carcinogen that accounts for 30% of the cancer deaths in the USA. BaP is a member of a family of simple, hardy, carbon-rich hydrocarbons — polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. BaP poses a serious environmental hazard for humans. It’s a byproduct of burning organic compounds. Although everyday forms of combustion from forest fires to diesel engines put a lot of BaP into our air, soil and food, nothing in ordinary life delivers it into human tissue more efficiently than cigarette smoking.