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Health news:
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0?

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution


December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects


November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet


October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women


September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?


August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?


July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives


June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's


May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains


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November 2007

Imprinted genes

Are you having imprinted genes, and why should you worry? Genetic research is beginning to unravel the mysterious inner workings of human genes, and at least partial answers are beginning to surface. Recently, as reported by Associated Press, Duke University scientists have created first map of imprinted genes, expanding their number from 40 to nearly 200. These genes are linked to some major diseases, like obesity, cancer and diabetes.

First off - what is imprinted gene? As you may know, each of us inherits a double set of genes, one from each parent. The second copy is dormant, and serves as a sort of safety backup: if a gene from the functioning copy for any reason stops working, your spare gene often kicks in to replace it.

The problem is, this backup gene sometimes comes with what in translation from molecular language would read "Do not activate" code, or imprint. In other words, imprinted, or silenced genes are those that simply stay inactive.

Obviously, having a single working gene instead of a set of two makes you more vulnerable to any health effects coming from that gene, too, being silenced or damaged later in your life.

Genetic imprint is different than either not having particular genes - which also can be inherited - or having particular genes altered or damaged. It is very similar to epigenetic damage, where the gene itself is intact, but something in the set of external (to the gene) factors necessary to complete the chain of reactions leading to the production of gene-specific body proteins - so called gene expression - is altered, preventing this from happening.

Imprinted genes themselves can come from three different sources. One is when they are directly inherited as silenced genes from a parent. Obviously, there is a possibility that both parents have identical genes silenced, in which case any related health effects show immediately.

The second possibility of acquiring imprinted genes is during developmental phase, particularly in mother's womb, when the DNA (and the body in general) is most sensitive to the effects of external factors, such as oral intake (food, drinks, drugs), chemicals, stress, or other interactions with the living environment.

The third is having them silenced later in life, mainly as a consequence of genetic errors/damage accumulated during many cellular divisions throughout the lifetime (genetic damage by toxin damage is also possible).

Depending on how numerous is your set of functional genes in the beginning, you will be more - or less - vulnerable to both, effects of gene silencing in your adult life, and genetic damage by a number of gene-unfriendly factors you may be exposed to.

The good news about imprinted genes is that the "stay silent" imprint

 can be erased.

It has been done, already, by epigenetic therapy. At present for a limited number of diseases (MDS, or Myelodysplastic Syndrome, some solid malignant tumors, bipolar disorder), but is expected to expand as scientists figure out how to work with other types of genes.   R