Re: Jerry Falwell -- global warming is "junk science"

From: gordon brown <gbrown@euclid.colorado.edu>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 16:26:15 EST

Janice,

Lung cancer is not the only issue concerning smoking vs. health. All one
has to do is look at the difference in death rates between smokers and
nonsmokers independent of specific causes to see the connection.

Gordon Brown
Department of Mathematics
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309-0395

On Fri, 17 Feb 2006, Janice Matchett wrote:

> At 03:39 PM 2/17/2006, Don Nield wrote:
>
> >>Why do some reject science so easily?
> >
> >There are at least 4 possibibilities.
> >1. They may not understand science. They may not be able to make
> >the proper inference from the statistical evidence. If 90% of lung
> >cancer patients are heavy smokers and heavy smokers constitute less
> >than 90% of the population, then that alone is strong evidence that
> >smoking leads to an increase in the incidence of lung cancer. The
> >fact that heavy smokers can play a form of Russian roulette with a
> >good chance of success is irrelevant to the previous inference.
> >2. Their emotions may prevent a rational assessment.
> >3. The findings of scientists may be too threatening to them for
> >various reasons (economical, political, religious, ...), so they
> >ignore the findings.
> >4. They may simply not trust scientists.
> >Don
> >/**/
>
>
> ### Are you an expert on feeling threatened by certain findings of
> scientists?
>
> The only ones playing a serious game of Russian roulette are the ones
> who get the blood test that detects they are at especially high risk
> of developing lung cancer, and go ahead and smoke anyhow (or don't
> immediately quit).
>
> 90% of the link between smoking and lung cancer has to do with
> personal genetic susceptibility.
>
>
> New blood test uncovers individual risk for lung cancer
> http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-09/wi-nbt090203.php
>
> Smokers carrying a newly found genetic marker are 5-10 times more
> likely to fall victim to the disease than other smokers; 120 times
> more than nonsmokers who don't carry the marker
>
> Rehovot, Israel--September 2, 2003-- Scientists at the Weizmann
> Institute have discovered a new genetic risk factor that increases
> the susceptibility of smokers to lung cancer.
>
> Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the
> findings show that smokers who carry the newly discovered genetic
> marker are around 120 times more likely to get lung cancer than
> non-smokers who do not have the risk factor.
>
> A simple blood test based on these findings will be able to detect
> smokers who are at especially high risk of developing lung cancer.
>
> The findings, made by Prof. Zvi Livneh and Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur of
> the Biological Chemistry Department, are a result of many years of
> research conducted on the role of DNA-repair mechanisms in cancer.
> The scientists focused on lung cancer, one of the most common and
> most deadly cancers, responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths. In the
> USA alone there are 160,000 new patients per year. Smoking is the
> major cause of lung cancer, and 90% of hospitalized lung cancer
> patients are smokers. However, only 10% of heavy smokers develop the
> disease, suggesting involvement of a personal genetic susceptibility.
> Livneh struck up a collaboration with Dr. Meir Krupsky of the Chaim
> Sheba Medical Center to determine whether this susceptibility is
> caused by a decreased ability to repair DNA damage.
>
> Our DNA is damaged about 20,000 times a day by factors such as
> sunlight, smoke and reactions within the body. If left unrepaired,
> damages to the DNA can lead to cancer. Fortunately the body has a
> stock of enzymes whose function is to repair DNA. These enzymes scan
> the DNA and detect damage using sophisticated sensor systems. Upon
> detection of damage, the enzymes perform an "operation" on the DNA,
> cutting out the damaged part and replacing it with a new DNA part.
> Thus the efficiency of the repair systems is critical for the
> prevention of cancer.
>
> Livneh and his team concentrated on a specific DNA repair enzyme,
> called OGG1 (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1). This repair enzyme
> deletes DNA parts damaged by toxic molecules called oxygen radicals,
> which are found in tobacco smoke. The team developed a new blood test
> that enabled them to measure the level of activity of OGG1. Using
> this method, the researchers found that 40% of lung cancer patients
> have low levels of OGG1 activity, in contrast to only 4% of the
> general population.
>
> These and other findings published in the study show that low OGG1
> activity results in high susceptibility to cancer: 5-10 times more
> than those whose OGG1 activity is normal. Smoking increases this
> risk, since it causes more damage for DNA repair enzymes, including
> OGG1, to fix. Smokers who have a low level of OGG1 activity were
> found to have the greatest risk of lung cancer, as much as 120 higher
> than non-smokers with regular levels of OGG1 activity.
>
> These findings suggest that a substantial portion of lung cancer
> cases might result from a combination of smoking and reduced OGG1 activity.
>
> If so, then screening smokers for low OGG1 activity will help them
> make more informed decisions to stop smoking. Of course, even smokers
> with normal OGG1 activity are at a greater risk of getting lung
> cancer than the general population and the blood test will not ensure
> that they don't get the disease. In addition, smoking causes other
> types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, whose relation to OGG1
> activity is still unknown.
>
> The Weizmann team also included Dr. Sara Blumenstein and Dalia
> Elinger. Statistical analysis was conducted by Dr. Edna Schechtman
> from Ben-Gurion University.
>
> Prof. Zvi Livneh's research is supported by the Dolfi and Lola Ebner
> Center for BiomedicalResearch, the Levine Institute of Applied
> Science and the M.D. Moross Institute for Cancer Research.
>
> Prof. Livneh is the incumbent of the Maxwell Ellis Professorial Chair
> in Biomedical Research.
>
> Contact: Alex Smith <mailto:Alex_smith@margeotes.com>Alex_smith@margeotes.com
> 212-460-0563 <http://www.weizmann-usa.org>American Committee for the
> Weizmann Institute of Science
>
>
Received on Fri Feb 17 16:26:23 2006

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