Loza-Coll website I am interested in the genetic mechanisms that control fate decisions in stem cells. Stem cells are defined by their capacity to undergo "self-renewing" divisions, generating a new copy of themselves and a sister that will differentiate to carry out a specific function within the organism. We have a fair understanding of genes that keep stem cells in their undifferentiated state, as well as those that underlie differentiation.
Several environmental factors continue to surface as potentially instrumental in explaining the wide global variation in the incidence and biological behavior of various tumors.
For example, discoveries that both essential and nonessential dietary nutrients can markedly influence several key biological events—including cell cycle regulation, processes involved in replication or transcription, immunocompetence, and factors involved with apoptosis, or programmed cell death—have strengthened convictions that specific foods or components may markedly influence cancer risk.
Analyses of the incidence of cancer in twin pairs and in families are traditional methods for answering questions about the relationships between cancer etiology, genes, and the environment. Sorting out the relative roles of each in the initiation and progression of cancer can lead to clearer elucidation of how shared environmental influences can disparately affect the health of individual members of a community, that is, why some people exposed to a specific agent develop cancer when others do not.
Finally, although environmental, occupational, and recreational exposures to carcinogens contribute to cancer risk in humans, variation in incidence and progression of cancers among individuals can be attributed to interindividual variation in Genetic and development makeup.
Recent research has identified functional polymorphisms that influence an individual's cancer risk and has focused on gene products involved in activation and detoxification of carcinogens and DNA repair.
Genetics is central to all of biology and the training program is guided by the principle that understanding the genetic control of development and physiology is a fundamental goal of biomedical research. Laboratory courses and faculty-mentored student research in the Genetics and Development area use approaches from cell biology, classical and molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, recombinant DNA technology, and bioinformatics, to provide training in biological techniques used in medicine, pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, and biomedical science research. In modern industrialized populations, cognition is approximately 50% to 70% heritable (Bouchard & McGue, ).This means that genetic differences between people account for 50% to 70% of the variation in performance on tests of cognitive abilities, such as reasoning, memory, processing speed, mental rotation, and knowledge.
Gene polymorphisms that are important in apoptosis will increasingly be recognized as clues to individual susceptibility to cancer, explaining why individuals with shared environmental exposures do not always share cancer morbidity and mortality.
Although 80 percent of cancers are related to environmental factors, the influence of diet in the development of cancer is somewhat uncertain. However, the general consensus is that approximately 35 to 40 percent of cancers relate to dietary habits, although the range might be quite large. The influence of diet in the development of cancer is somewhat uncertain.
However, the general consensus is that approximately 35 to 40 percent of cancers relate to dietary habits John Milner Even though science has come a long way in understanding what factors are important in controlling cancer risks or modifying health in general, we still do not really know who is going to benefit, and under what circumstances, said Milner.
In fact, we do not yet know if there are some people who would be placed at risk because of exaggerated intakes of certain types of foods or food components. The whole issue of the role of diet in health is exceedingly complex when trying to assess the relative roles of individual foods as they relate to overall cancer risk.
There are some areas of agreement, however, said Milner. More than 80 percent of the studies that have been published reveal a reduction in cancer risk with an increase in fruit and vegetable consumption. However, there is considerable variability among populations, suggesting that a person's genetics may be important in determining the response.
He added that we need to have a better understanding of how genes are involved in the cancer process and how individual nutrients can modify these genes and ultimately influence the probability of developing cancer. Some of the strongest evidence linking diet and cancer comes from the epidemiological observation that increased vegetable and fruit consumption is associated with a reduction in the risk for cancers of the mouth and pharynx, esophagus, lung, stomach, colon, and rectum.
Likewise considerable evidence points to a host of essential and nonessential nutrients as modifiers of cancer risk at a variety of sites. Milner noted that part of this variation in cancer risk may arise from variation in the intake of one or more essential nutrients supplied by either plant or animal food sources.
Vegetables derived from various parts of plants including roots e. Some of these phytonutrients—including flavonoids, carotenoids, organosulfides, and isothiocyanates—have been the focus of recent research to determine both their effects on risk and their mechanisms of action. Despite the clear linkages that have been found between the risk of developing some types of cancers and dietary patterns, inconsistencies have been detected, which might reflect the multifactorial and complex nature of cancer, the specificity that individual dietary constituents have in modifying specific genetic pathways, and the temporal relationship between dietary intervention and phenotypic changes in tumor incidence or behavior.
The chemical and biological diversity of dietary components in combination with a range of molecular targets makes pinpointing the importance of diet in various cancers a challenge, emphasized Milner.Department member David Goldstein, PhD is the New York City lead for the largest Precision Medicine effort in history.
Genetics and Development graduate gives inspiring speech to PhD Class of The department provides graduate training in the following: the regulation of gene expression and growth control in eukaryotic cells, the molecular genetics of cell differentiation and development, the genetics and pathogenesis of inherited disease, the molecular genetics of cancer, and the genetics of recombination and linkage analysis.
Genetic Abnormalities in Human Growth and Development How Genetics and the Environment Interact in Human Development Genetics and Child Development PSY Instructor: February 12, Genetics and Child Development Genetics play a vital role in our development and that of our children. Our genetic make-up, or traits, directly affects our children’s development, from the moment of conception and the beginnings of a new person, throughout his or her life.
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development aims to stimulate scientifically grounded, interdisciplinary, multi-scale debate and exchange of ideas. It contains polished, concise and timely reviews and opinions, with particular emphasis on those articles published in the past two years.