sábado, 9 de noviembre de 2013

Alcohol Alert Now Available

Alcohol Alert Now Available

Alcohol Alert Now Available

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Alcohol Alert, Number 86

Drawing showing DNA and the alcohol molecule

Epigenetics—A New Frontier for Alcohol Research 

In today’s modern age, with the entire human genetic makeup (the genome) decoded and genetic testing more and more common, most people understand that changes, or mutations, in genes can lead to death, disease, and disorder. But there is another way our genes can impact our health. Increasingly, researchers and physicians are exploring the concept of “epigenetics"-- a complex process that determines which genes in the body are active at any given time. 
This rapidly emerging area of research suggests that age, the environment, and exposure to drugs and other chemicals, including alcohol, directly affect epigenetics, altering normal genetic patterns and leading to abnormal expression or silencing of essential genes. The research also suggests that these epigenetic changes can, in some instances, be passed from one generation to the next. 
This Alert describes how alcohol influences epigenetics and how those influences may be associated with illness and disorders, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), cancer, liver disease and other gastrointestinal disorders, brain development, the body’s internal clock, and its ability to fight disease. This issue also explores therapies that may target those changes caused by epigenetics.

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