Air pollution influences gene expression and disease more than our ancestry


Exposure to air pollution doesn’t just lead to illnesses like asthma and lung ailments, it can also alter the way genes are expressed in our bodies, according to a new study published March 6 in the journal Nature Communications.

The study, conducted by a team of scientists and biostatisticians in Canada, suggests that the impact of air pollution on an individual’s gene expression is much more significant than a person’s ancestry.

The study’s 13-member research team, led by Philip Awadalla of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, assembled a cohort of 1,000 individuals living in different parts of Canada’s Quebec province, including Montreal, Quebec City, and Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.

The group was comprised of men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 years. Each of the participants provided information to a biobank and health database called CARTaGENE, including blood pressure, blood cell counts, blood sugar levels, cardiovascular function, and disease history…They also reported information on environmental factors like their proximity to green space, residential history, and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. All individuals studied were of French-Canadian descent in order to minimize variability in ethnicity, Awadalla said.

“This helped us show how most gene expression is not derived by ancestry, and that environmental exposures associated with living in a particular city or region are more impactful on gene expression associated with disease traits,” Awadalla said.

Read full, original post: Air Pollution Can Have a Greater Effect on Human Gene Expression Than Ancestry

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend