There are two new studies that reveal the complex interplay between genetic and lifestyle factors in causing diseases, or in other words, between nature and nurture.
The first study is with regards to one of the most dreaded diseases today, liver cancer, which is quite prevalent in developing countries like India, and has one of the poorest prognoses among all cancers. Two researchers, one from India’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and the other from University of Southern California have now jointly found the protein causing liver cancer.
Even more importantly, they found that this protein works by the influence of chronic alcohol intake and the hepatitis virus, which degrade the crucial P53 molecule in liver, called the guardian of genome, which in turn allows or activates the cancer.
I think this is yet another case of our lifestyles impacting our genes, and not only calls for moderation in drinking, but for taking extreme caution with lifestyle choices as these can cause genetic changes that can perpetuate to one’s offspring too.