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Air pollution may cause DNA damage in children

Air pollution may cause DNA damage in children

22 May 2017 | 5:54 PM

LOS ANGELES: Children and teenagers exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution may be at an increased risk of a specific DNA damage called telomere shortening, a new study warns.

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Los Angeles, May 22

Children and teenagers exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution may be at an increased risk of a specific DNA damage called telomere shortening, a new study warns.

Young people with asthma also have evidence of telomere shortening, a type of DNA damage typically associated with ageing, researchers said.

"Our results suggest that telomere length may have potential for use as a biomarker of DNA damage due to environmental exposures and/or chronic inflammation," said John R Balmes of University of California, Berkeley, in the US.

The study included 14 children and adolescents living in Fresno, California — the second-most polluted city in the US.

Researchers assessed the relationship between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a "ubiquitous" air pollutant caused by motor vehicle exhaust and shortening of telomeres.

As the exposure to PAHs increased, telomere length decreased in linear fashion. Children and teens with asthma were exposed to higher PAH levels than those without asthma.

The relationship between PAH level and telomere shortening remained significant after adjustment for asthma and other factors (age, sex, and race/ethnicity) related to telomere length.

The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, adds to previous evidence that air pollution causes oxidative stress, which can damage lipids, proteins and DNA.

Research has suggested that children may have different telomere shortening regulation than adults, which might make them more vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution.

"Greater knowledge of the impact of air pollution at the molecular level is necessary to design effective interventions and policies," Balmes said.

With further research, telomeres could provide a new biomarker to reflect the cellular-level effects of exposure to air pollution, researchers said.

Telomeres might also provide new insights into the understanding how pollution exposure leads to adverse health outcomes, they said. — PTI 

Excessive alcohol, caffeine holding journalists back: Study

Excessive alcohol, caffeine holding journalists back: Study

21 May 2017 | 4:54 PM

BOSTON: Journalists’ excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine leads their brains to function below par, but the love for their job protects their mental resilience, MIT scientists claim.

'New blueberry muffin may lower heart disease risk'

'New blueberry muffin may lower heart disease risk'

20 May 2017 | 7:00 PM

MELBOURNE:Scientists have developed a new blueberry muffin recipe that may help decrease the risk of heart diseases by lowering cholesterol levels in the blood.

Hypertension in young adults may up stroke risk later: study

Hypertension in young adults may up stroke risk later: study

20 May 2017 | 6:51 PM

HOUSTON: Youngsters with high blood pressure may be at an increased risk of stroke as well as damage to the kidneys and brain later in life, a new study warns.

One bite is all it takes for Zika mosquito to transmit dengue

One bite is all it takes for Zika mosquito to transmit dengue

20 May 2017 | 11:45 AM

WASHINGTON DC: Turns out, a single mosquito bite might be enough to transmit multiple viruses.

First human antibodies to fight all Ebola viruses found

First human antibodies to fight all Ebola viruses found

19 May 2017 | 6:47 PM

NEW YORK: The first natural human antibodies that can neutralise and protect animals against all three major disease-causing Ebola viruses have been discovered by scientists, including one of Indian origin.

Your saliva may predict Alzheimer’s disease risk

Your saliva may predict Alzheimer’s disease risk

19 May 2017 | 6:43 PM

WASHINGTON: Your spit may hold clues to future brain health, say scientists who have found that small molecules in saliva can help identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Exercise helps burn bone fat, make them stronger

Exercise helps burn bone fat, make them stronger

19 May 2017 | 3:30 PM

NEW YORK: Exercising burns the fat found within bone marrow and this process improves bone quality in a matter of weeks, says a study.

Eating fruits, vegetables secret to looking good: Study

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19 May 2017 | 11:16 AM

SYDNEY: Eating enough fruit and vegetables could be the secret to looking good and having attractive skin, according to a study released on Friday by Australian researchers.

New computer game may help children choose healthy food

New computer game may help children choose healthy food

18 May 2017 | 8:31 PM

LONDON:Scientists have devised a seven- minute brain-training computer game that may help children choose healthy snacks over chocolates and sweets.

Bathroom scales can warn about life threatening conditions

Bathroom scales can warn about life threatening conditions

17 May 2017 | 6:23 PM

LONDON: Scientists have designed a multi-functional body weight scale which may help measure more than 20 health parameters and warn us about potentially dangerous life conditions such as arteriosclerosis.

Lonely teens may have troubled sleep: study

Lonely teens may have troubled sleep: study

17 May 2017 | 4:00 PM

LONDON: Teenagers who are lonely may have poor quality of sleep, according to a new British study. In the study, lonelier people were also 24 per cent more likely to feel tired and have difficulty concentrating during the day.

In future, kids may be born from ‘3D-printed ovaries'

In future, kids may be born from ‘3D-printed ovaries'

17 May 2017 | 9:38 AM

WASHINGTON DC: Infertile women have been offered new hope after a team of researchers 3-D printed ovary structures that, true to their design, actually ovulated.

New eye drops to treat age-related blindness developed

New eye drops to treat age-related blindness developed

16 May 2017 | 12:47 PM

LONDON: Scientists have developed a revolutionary new eye to treat an age-related eye disorder, spelling the end for painful injections used to combat one of the leading causes of blindness.

Regular snoring in babies can be a danger sign

Regular snoring in babies can be a danger sign

15 May 2017 | 3:11 PM

MELBOURNE: Turns out, if your baby snores at least four nights a week, it could indicate serious health problems.

Hot weather may up risk of diabetes in pregnancy

Hot weather may up risk of diabetes in pregnancy

15 May 2017 | 8:48 PM

TORONTO: Pregnant women should not expose themselves to temperatures averaging 24 degrees Celsius or above, as they would run the risk of developing gestational diabetes, researchers said.

Alcohol may cause less changes to your personality

Alcohol may cause less changes to your personality

15 May 2017 | 12:43 PM

NEW YORK: When you are drunk, your personality may change, but not as much as you think, a study shows.

Tomato extracts can fight stomach cancer

Tomato extracts can fight stomach cancer

14 May 2017 | 5:04 PM

LONDON:Tomato extracts can inhibit the growth and malignant cloning of stomach cancer cells, according to a new study that paves the way for novel therapies to treat the deadly disease.

Volunteering may help prevent dementia

Volunteering may help prevent dementia

14 May 2017 | 4:38 PM

TORONTO: Regularly engaging in volunteer work after retirement may significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia, a new study has found.

3D mini organs mimic features of full sized lungs

3D mini organs mimic features of full sized lungs

13 May 2017 | 6:12 PM

NEW DELHI: Scientists have developed three dimensional (3D) mini organs in a lab which mimic the features of a full-sized lung.

Race, gender, socio-economic factors affect heart surgery outcomes

Race, gender, socio-economic factors affect heart surgery outcomes

13 May 2017 | 3:32 PM

WASHINGTON DC: A first-of-its-kind study discovered that women and minorities who underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, are at a greater risk of experiencing recurrent cardiac events within the first year after their procedure compared to Caucasian men.

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