Make Your Baby Free From Diseases

The future of genetic alterations and genetic engineering is awaiting a great stride ahead as the British MPs have just voted in favor of legalizing IVF techniques for genetic alterations to eliminate diseases in babies even before they are born. The final approval is likely come after the Lords do the same with the raised amendment. However some negative ethical issues are being raised which can make the Lords delay the amendment from getting the final go.

The experts are divided on the issue and voices from the both sides of the argument can be heard. In spite of all these debates and division in opinion the final decision is likely to be positive. However such a decision for the progression of science and technology and for their application in the field of human development was just a matter of time before being approved.

The IVF technique in discussion will be used to replace the mitochondria from a woman having mitochondrial condition that may result in sure diseases in their new born babies. It is so because there are patients suffering from genetic mutations in their mitochondrial genes that generally pass to their progeny. An estimation reveals that there are 2473 Women presently suffering from such a condition in UK and they will be directly benefitted by the decision. The successful application of the law and the technique will be able to positively affect 150 new births per year. This estimation however was based on the proportion of women known to be at risk in the north east of England, so does not take into account variations across the UK or US in terms of ethnic diversity or average maternal age.

Almost all of our genetic materials are contained in our cells’ nucleus but a small amount of genetic material are there in the cellular structures named mitochondria. Many women suffer from mitochondrial DNA mutation. IVF aims to replace the mutated mitochondria and replant the genetic materials within a healthy mitochondria from a donor.

There are two IVF techniques that the scientists have invented and both the techniques are heavily debated. The techniques are known as pronuclear transfer and spindle transfer.

Any such procedure involving changes in the gene or the DNA has been accompanied with heated debates and arguments both in favor and against such practices. Opposition raises such ethical questions like the future conditions, both psychological and physical, of the new human that is going to be the outcome of such a process. How they will react to the knowledge that they are from three parents? And there may be physical dangers too as the process is still not tested in humans. Furthermore there always lie the dangers of misuse in case of such a technique.

Nonetheless there always will be assumed dangers but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the progression of science has to be paused for that. So, we can hope that the Lords will take the positive decision and will legalize the practice very soon. Apart from the benefits that the couples suffering from mtDNA will get from this legalization, it will also make the UK the leader in this specific scientific field.

Lung Cancer Kills More Women than Breast Cancer

Cancer is the burden on society as it takes lives and also makes a patients and the family suffer really bad. It is present almost equally in developed and less developed societies.

The cancer rate is increasing. Age, smoking, environmental contamination, physical inactivity, obesity are some of the many risk factors of the cancer that are highly prevalent in the society. According to the GLOBOCAN estimates, just in the year 2012, cancer claimed 8.2 million lives and made 14.1 million its victims. In the past few years, the cases of cancer have been increased in the less developed regions of the world and there were 57% new cases of cancer with 65% deaths.

Breast Cancer vs Lung Cancer:

Breast cancer has been considered as the general killer of women, and every now and then you may receive the news of some awareness campaign regarding breast cancer as it takes lives of many women yearly. But recently, a report showed that we must also consider other forms of cancers too that are more devastating.

In male, lung cancer is the leading cancer death reason; men of both, developed and less developed, nations die from this cancer equally. In females too, lung cancer is the major cause of death and it has surpassed the death rate related to breast cancer in the developed world, but in less developed countries, breast cancer is major death cause in females.

Why Lung Cancer Becomes the Leading Cause of Death in Females?

A boost has been seen in the female smoking trends in the last few decades. Lung cancer occurs mainly due to smoking and as the women in the developed countries started this habit, the death rate has inclined. Lung cancer is not like other forms of cancer, and death from this disease occurs after two or three decades. Health experts report that this cancer takes time to fully develop.

Lung cancer is always a leading cause of death in men but it has now become the leading death cause of females too because of changes in habits.

What to do now?

In the developed countries, breast cancer rates are either stable or reducing. In the past few years, great improvement has been noticed. The better treatment options and early detection also played their parts. But the lung cancer rate has been increased and is continued to increase. In United States, the death rate levels by lung cancer have crossed the normal limits.

The following things must be applied to get the control:

  • Use of tobacco products must be reduced as much as possible
  • Early detection methods must also be used to screen lung cancer
  • People must be told what they are inhaling and what harm it can do to the body
  • Vaccination must be done

As diseases due to smoking take time to appear, people continue their use until they become really sick. Methods must be devised by the health experts and government so individuals can stop harming their bodies at the first place because once a health is lost, it is very hard to regain it.

Reference:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21262/abstract

 

Living with Allergies

The immune system is the body’s frontline defence against all diseases, bacterial infections and viruses. With a compromised immune system the body cannot protect itself to its full potential and can fall prey to certain allergens. A weakened response by the immune system to these allergens can trigger irritating and uncomfortable symptoms in people. While generally these allergies are not considered harmful, they can be very annoying to deal with.

Common causes for generating allergies can often come from environmental factors and occasionally from genetic ones as well. For an individual to be allergic to something, their immune system will have become oversensitive to the allergen and responds to this bothersome trigger by dispensing chemicals known as histamines. It is this release of histamines that can bring about allergy symptoms.

Among common allergens, the following are the most usual reasons causing irritating symptoms:

  • Certain medications
  • Specific foods
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander

For some super sensitive individuals, allergies may even result as a reaction to fluctuations in temperature, sun exposure or other seasonal factors. For the most part, allergies are not inherited but if members of the family have been observed to suffer from certain allergies, then their offspring may also be more susceptible to displaying the same symptoms.

In some cases, individuals with certain medical conditions like breathing problems, nasal and sinus issues or other conditions relating to the skin can intensify allergic symptoms and associated discomfort.

Symptoms:

The symptoms for different types on allergies will differ greatly. Typically allergy symptoms affect the part of the body which is sensitive to the allergy trigger. For instance, allergens which are breathed in through the nose or mouth will likely affect those areas. The result may be throat irritation, stuffy or runny nose, coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing. Likewise, allergens that are sensitive to the eyes can cause watery, red, swollen or itchy eyes.

Other than environmental allergens, people may also be allergic to certain types of foods or specific ingredients in foods. Most commonly, food allergens can cause painful symptoms associated with the abdomen. Stomach cramping, nausea, bloating, diarrhea and vomiting are some of the most notable symptoms. In other instances, food allergies may also present themselves as skin rashes or swelling of the tongue.

Skin allergies are also very common among a lot of people. Symptoms can range from anything including blisters, hives, rashes, lesions or itchy, peeling skin. Likewise when allergies are triggered by the use of certain drugs, or medications, symptoms may both be internal or external in nature.

Testing:

Testing for allergies can be tricky as all other possibilities will need to be ruled out first. There are elimination testing procedures that help medical professionals identify allergies. In this method, sufferers are restricted from using certain items for a specific period to determine whether there has been a change in the apparent symptoms or not. Other medical personnel may employ standard skin tests and blood tests to determine the cause of the allergy.