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.
Rachel Feldman | University of Haifa
Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto
Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...
22.05.2017 | Event News
17.05.2017 | Event News
16.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2017 | Life Sciences
22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy