Eye on DNA Headlines for 31 August 2007

Eye on DNA Headlines for 31 August 2007

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted August 31, 2007 in DNA and Disease, Eye on DNA Headlines

  • On September 5, 4:25 pm EDT, deCODE genetics will have a live webcast of CEO Kari Stefansson’s presentation at the Thomas Weisel Partners Annual Healthcare Conference. Details on the deCODE genetics investors page.
  • Check it out! Eye on DNA is listed in the sidebar of the CDC Genomics & Health Weekly Update. Woohoo! Strange. They replaced the link to Eye on DNA just a few hours ago with something from Duke. Does anyone know what happened? I’ll have to email to ask. Update: What a relief! I didn’t get dissed after all. They had to do some reshuffling and Eye on DNA will be up next week. Yay!
  • Thank you, Dr. Bill Koslosky, for mentioning Eye on DNA at Lexicillin QD.
  • Dr. Misha Angrist at Genome Boy has become the 23rd member of The DNA Network! (Subscribe to The DNA Network RSS feed.)
  • thai no smokingAt Smokefree.gov, one of the pieces of trivia to convince you to quit smoking is:

    Did you know?…that the increased risk for developing prostate cancer as a smoker disappears over time once you quit?

    Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for lung cancer. A recent study of eight current smokers, 12 former smokers, and four never-smokers found that smoking permanently damages DNA repair genes as well as changing the activity of some genes. These changes in gene expression could account for the higher risk of lung cancer in people who’ve already quit smoking. (MedPage Today)

    Update: Walter at Highlight Health has more on what happens when you quit smoking.

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Comment by David Bradley

Lung cancer isn’t the only thing to worry about with smoking…there’s emphysema, of course, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. All nasty, nasty ways to rot your lungs away to nothing. Still there is the benefit of a tiny reduction in risk of getting Parkinson’s disease, should you happen to survive the lung rot.


Comment by Hsien

Smoking is bad for you. No doubt about it. Just the thought of all the cosmetic damage smoking causes should make a person quit!

Comment by David Bradley

It is. But, there’s always someone you know who has a granny who lived to 190 and smoked 60 a day since she was ten…

..face like a catcher’s mitt since she was 30 of course.


Comment by Hsien

hehe I know just who you’re thinking of.

From Neatorama:

A life-long smoker, Winnie Langley just celebrated her 100th birthday by smoking her 170,000th cigarette!

Comment by David Bradley

That’s the gal I was thinking of…

They’re rare those kinds of people though. But, just think if she has a smoking-protective gene, we could engineer ourselves to stay safe from all the nasties given off by cigarettes.

Seriously, though, maybe she does have some favourable genetics that might point to why some people are more susceptible than others to particular lung diseases etc.


Comment by Hsien

Instead of genetic engineering, the easier way is to avoid cigarettes altogether. It’s not like we have to smoke to live. Now if we can do something about boosting our immunity to atherosclerosis caused by donut ingestion….

But, yes, I’m sure she has some sort of protective genes in effect. Somebody better get her consent for a DNA sample before it becomes unethical to do so! ;)

Comment by David Bradley

But nasties come not only from cigarettes but also other forms of pollution, so perhaps her longevity might be associated with some generic protective effect against such compounds…who knows? Like you say, good idea to get her consent sooner, rather than later, for all kinds of reasons…



[...] The CDC Genomics & Health Weekly Update features Eye on DNA this week under Let’s Go Surfing! (Sorry about last week’s false alarm.) [...]


[...] Today is No Smoking Day over in the UK. *waves across the ocean to Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei* [...]

Comment by Kate

I recently quit smoking and wanted to pass along a site I used to help me. It has a few basic videos showing how to quit smoking. I’m not sure if you’re interested in how to videos, but I found these useful.


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