Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Asbestos exposure linked to genetic mutation

14.06.2011
Mice inhabiting a northern town of Israel known for its high concentration of asbestos-contaminated dust, have a higher level of genetic somatic mutations, compared with other regions where asbestos pollution levels are lower.

This has been shown in a new study carried out by Dr. Rachel Ben-Shlomo and Dr. Uri Shanas of the University of Haifa's Department of Biology in Oranim. "This study clearly indicates that there is a link between the higher levels of asbestos in the environment and the frequency of genetic somatic mutations in the mammals," the scientists said.

Earlier studies of asbestos have already shown that the thin fibers, which penetrate the body by inhalation or through consumption of food contaminated with the material, not only cause certain cancers but also genetic mutations in DNA structures. It is also known that asbestos is a material that decomposes slowly, over many years.

Data from the Israeli Ministry of Health indicate a rise in the number of cancer patients from exposure to asbestos in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel, and therefore the scientists set out to examine whether genetic mutations are found in the mouse population living in its northern town of Nahariya. They chose to probe mutations in mice because their generations are renewed every three months, so it could be assumed for the study that dozens of generations of this sample population in Nahariya had already been exposed to the fibers.

Wild mice from two locations were sampled � one group living close to a factory that manufactured asbestos-based products in Nahariya during 1952-1997, and a second group from a town located 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, from Nahariya and where no known asbestos pollutants are found. Samples were taken from both groups and six sites in the DNA were examined for genetic differences between the groups.

The results indicated differences between the groups' DNA and that the Nahariya-based mice had higher levels of genetic somatic mutations.

"These findings teach us that the pollutive, mutagenic asbestos increases somatic mutational frequency, which can in turn heighten the chances of developing cancerous growths," the researchers concluded.

For more information:
Rachel Feldman
Division of Marketing and Media
University of Haifa
press@univ.haifa.ac.il
+972-54-5352435

Rachel Feldman | University of Haifa
Further information:
http://www.haifa.ac.il

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>