Saturday November 23, 2019

Blocking key Gene in Fish may Reduce Cigarette Smoke Toxicity Effect, says Research

Zebrafish are a widely used as model species for studying human genetics and disease

Burning Cigarette. Wikimedia

New York, Oct 4, 2016: Blocking the production of a key receptor may reduce the effects of particulate matter from cigarette smoke in zebrafish embryos, a study has found.

The effects of this toxicity which include malformed blood vessels and brain haemorrhages may affect early development in zebrafish embryos and increase the risk of neurological disorders and physical deformities.

Zebrafish are a widely used as model species for studying human genetics and disease.

The researchers injected early-stage zebrafish embryos with a molecule to block a specific gene’s activity and prevented the production of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor 2 (AHR2). This disrupted the metabolic pathway thought to play an important role in cigarette smoke toxicity.

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“The knockdown resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of deformities in the modified embryos. Deformities still occurred, but far less frequently than in embryos without the modification,” said Andrey Massarsky, Researcher at the Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, US.

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Initially, Massarsky and his colleagues hypothesised that their knockdown of the AHR2 receptor worked because it concurrently blocked the expression of the two main enzymes – cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) and cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) – involved with PAH metabolism.

But subsequent experiments, in which these enzymes were each knocked down, suggested that there was more to it.

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“We found that deformities were actually exacerbated when CYP1A and CYP1B1 were blocked. This shows that, if anything, these enzymes play a protective role. To some extent, they help prevent the deformities from occurring,” Massarsky added in the study published in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.

These seemingly contradictory findings could be because the CYP1A and CYP1B1 knockdowns may decrease the toxicity of some of the PAHs found in cigarette smoke’s total particulate matter while increasing the toxicity of others.

But it is also possible that turning up the AHR2 pathway interferes with other biochemical signalling pathways. For example, recent studies show that activation of the AHR2 pathway may, in fact, inhibit the proper operation of pathways that pass signals into a cell through cell surface receptors.

These pathways are critical to early embryonic development, particularly the formation of bone, heart and muscle tissues. (IANS)

  • Antara

    Wonderful news! Development of such a research would prove to be extremely helpful!

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

cryptocurrency. google
Google comes up with a new feature

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?