Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Genetics of Smoking

It is a well known fact that the carcinogenic properties of tobacco products can lead to lung cancer; however, genetic researchers are now suggesting a gene related to the tendency to smoke. Researchers at Icelandic deCODE say that portions of chromosome fifteen have certain SNPs, or single nucleotide polymorphisms, that attract the nicotine molecule. The researchers conducted a study of 13,945 smokers from Iceland and concluded that all of the severe smokers had a base pair involving a T in this loci, a correlation between a gene and smoking. In addition it was also found that having a T was popular amongst those who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. Although a relationship was found between the T variation and the likelihood of smoking, the researchers stated that it is not a precise indication as to whether or not someone would begin to smoke. However, it is still interesting to see that there may be a connection between our genes and our susceptibility to become a heavy smoker and even develop lung cancer.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if parents who smoke and have the T variation (before mating) cause their children to be more susceptible to smoking.