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SCI/TECH: Gene mutation linked to strokes and heart trouble

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posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 07:54 PM
Living in a century of intense debate on the Nature vs. Nurture issue - the long standing debate over the relative contributions of genes and experience - recent findings that gene mutation is linked to strokes and heart trouble is a little misleading. Recent studies show that a single mutation in the DNA puts the DNA owner at heightened risk, but it doesn’t show that the mutation alone is responsible for the numerous strokes and heart troubles. In the end, the study shows the real winner is the middle ground, which states that we are the result of the combination of interaction between our genes and our environment.
Richard Lifton and his colleagues at Yale University school of medicine report in the journal Science that a mutation in the genes of mitochondria, the tiny powerpacks in almost every human cell, contributes to a wide range of life-shortening risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other metabolic disorders.

One woman with hypertension and low blood magnesium levels told scientists of other members of her family with a similar condition. This immediately suggested that a genetic link passed only through the female line.

"That's when the real saga began," Dr Lifton said. "We eventually studied 142 relatives. When we looked at the pattern of these pathologies we found there was a whopping excess of affected individuals on the maternal lineage."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is bad news for behaviorists, who believe that humans are born with ‘tabular rosa’ (John Locke’s term meaning blank slate), but good news to newer generations, who could benefit from this finding. By knowing that they have higher risk than others, they could start early on the so called junk food, which many believe is the reason to numerous diseases.

[edit on 21-10-2004 by Banshee]


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