Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Epigenetics – XIII. Lifestyles and Environment (2 of 2)


I said that epigenetics modifications work both ways.  For
better or for worse, our epigenome is impacted by the
environment.  This could be a positive force, for example if we
eat properly, or it could be a negative force.

According to Dr. Kim Lyerly, M.D., Director of the Duke
Comprehensive Cancer Centre, exposure to pesticides, toxins, and
synthetic material can methylate genes in adulthood and cause
diseases such as asthma and cancer, both of which are much higher
today than they were decades ago.  Pesticides absorbed by the
mother and passed on to the fetus might remain dormant in the
individual only to cause cancer 10, 20 or 50 years later.

According to Dr. William Schlesinger, Ph.D., Dean of the
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke,
even the lowest detectable limits of a chemical can have grave
consequences if ingested by a living organism.

Dr. David Schwartz, Ph.D., the Director of the “National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences” explains how
epigenetics and our own well-being tie in with the environment.
“Epigenetics represents a huge opportunity to study an
alternative pathway that explains why individuals respond
differently to environmental cues.  This field provides the
missing link between the environment and the development of
diseases that goes beyond many of the subtle changes in DNA that
explain only a fraction of the diseases humans develop.”

It is becoming increasingly clear to the scientific
community that an extra bit of vitamin, a brief exposure to a
toxin, a settled, happy, and interesting life, and even an extra
dose of parental love can affect the epigenome and impact on the
person for life.


NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as
Aspirin work by inhibiting Cyclooxygenase Enzymes (COX1 and COX2)
that catalyze formation of prostaglandins from Arachidonic Acid.
They are used to relieve pain, reduce fever and inflammation,
thinning blood, and slowing the progression of some type of
metastatic growth.  Up till now, the molecular basis of action of
NSAIDs was not fully understood.  Now, however, we can explain
the compounds’ ability to enhance anti-cancer treatments directed
against some types of tumors.

In the most recent issue of Experimental Biology and
Medicine, Dr. Wen-Chun Hung and his team report that one NSAID
known as NS398 up-regulates several genes known to be involved
in negative regulation of cell invasion.  NS398 works by
promoting demethylation of these genes resulting in activation of
their gene expression and subsequent inhibition of cell invasion.

This finding may open a treasure chest:  New treatments for
some cancers that are known to have pro-apoptotic genes
specifically inactivated by methylation.  (Pro-apoptotic genes
put a stop to unwanted cell proliferation and therefore tumors.
If they are inactivated by methylation, they can no longer do
their work; NS398 – and hopefully other compounds in the future –
reverse the process by promoting the demethylation of these


1) McGill Reporter
McGill blazes epigenetics trail
Freeing ourselves from genetic destiny
Neale McDevitt

2) Science Daily (October 27, 2005)
Duke University Medical Centre
“Epigenetics” Means What We Eat, How We Live and Love, Alters How
Our Genes Behave

3) DNA Is Not Destiny
The new science of epigenetics rewrites the rules of diseases,
heredity, and identity
by Ethan Watters
published online November 22, 2006

4) Epigenetics and NSAIDs
by Kevin Ahern
March 31, 2008

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