jump to navigation

Chronic Stress and Health February 20, 2015

Posted by Nancy Hepp in breaking news.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

written by Nancy Hepp, MS
Research and Communications Specialist

Nathan Seppa at ScienceNews published a summary of the state of knowledge about the effects of chronic stress on health. The summary draws from research on the effects of stress on heart attacks, stroke, cancer, premature childbirth, type 2 diabetes, telomere length, asthma and even the common cold. Seppa writes:

Chronic stress is the kind that comes from recurring pain, post-traumatic memories, unemployment, family tension, poverty, childhood abuse, caring for a sick spouse or just living in a sketchy neighborhood. Nonstop, low-grade stress contributes directly to physical deterioration, adding to the risk of heart attack, stroke, infection and asthma. Even recovery from cancer becomes harder.

Scientists have now identified many of the biological factors linking stress to these medical problems. The evidence centers on nagging inflammation and genetic twists that steer cells off a healthy course, resulting in immune changes that allow ailments to take hold or worsen.

Read the full article on the ScienceNews site.

Cutting-edge Science of Exposures February 13, 2015

Posted by Nancy Hepp in science pick.
Tags:
add a comment

written by Nancy Hepp, MS
Research and Communications Specialist

Sometimes there are stories, studies or policy decisions in our quarterly Top 10 nomination list that don’t make the final cut but are still worthy of some extra conversation. Here’s an example of two stories that we considered for our most recent list:

graphic of oxidative DNA damage

Graphic from the NIH article, which they acquired courtesy of Bret Freudenthal. Read the full description on the NIH site.

From the National Institutes of Health: NIH scientists determine how environment contributes to several human diseases. Using a new imaging technique, National Institutes of Health researchers have found that the biological machinery that builds DNA can insert molecules into the DNA strand that are damaged as a result of environmental exposures. The study: Uncovering the polymerase-induced cytotoxicity of an oxidized nucleotide.

From Phys.org: New technology tracks carcinogens as they move through the body. Researchers for the first time have developed a method to track through the human body the movement of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, as extraordinarily tiny amounts of these potential carcinogens are biologically processed and eliminated. The study: Human in vivo pharmacokinetics of [14c]dibenzo[def,p]chrysene by accelerator mass spectrometry following oral microdosing.

(more…)

Cancer: ‘It’s Not Beyond Us’ February 11, 2015

Posted by Nancy Hepp in Newsletter introductions.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

written by Elise Miller, MEd
Director

Hundreds of events were organized worldwide in recognition of World Cancer Day last week. The theme this year: ‘It’s not beyond us’. CHE Partner Génon K. Jensen, Executive Director of Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) gave the keynote address at Malta’s World Cancer Day event, noting that few countries are currently calling for strengthened environmental policies to help prevent cancer. Jensen also observed that only within the last 18 months has “the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) cancer agency (IARC) officially recognized air pollution as a contributor to lung cancer…and a positive association between higher levels of air pollution and an increased risk of bladder cancer.” Given the scientific evidence that has been mounting for decades linking pollution and other chemical exposures with various forms of cancer, this acknowledgement of environmental contributors to cancer seems a terribly long time in coming, particularly for those who are debilitated and die from these conditions every year.

Sadly, worldwide statistics regarding cancer only continue to look worse in the coming years. WHO states that deaths from cancer are projected to rise to over 11 million by 2030, up from 8.2 million in 2012, and the number of new cases each year is expected to increase by 70% in the next two decades. In the US, federal research dollars for cancer have remained essentially flat in recent years (and are likely not to increase given current Congressional priorities). Most of those funds go to study cancer treatments and screening technology, not prevention.

(more…)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 76 other followers