Wednesday October 24, 2018

Why Cancer Rates Are Higher in Flight Attendants?

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, included data from a survey of 5,366 US flight attendants, who were then then compared the prevalence of cancers among the general public

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Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay
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Due to regular exposure to carcinogens, disrupted sleep cycles and possible chemical contaminants, flight attendants may be at a higher risk of developing several forms of cancer than others, finds a new research.

These include breast, uterine, gastrointestinal, thyroid and cervical cancer.

According to the study, flight attendants are also regularly exposed to the largest effective annual ionizing radiation dose relative to all other radiation workers because of both their exposure to and lack of protection from cosmic radiation in the plane.

Why Cancer Rates Are Higher in Flight Attendants?
Representational image.

“Our findings of higher rates of several cancers among flight attendants is striking given the low rates of overweight and smoking in our study population, which highlights the question of what can be done to minimize the adverse exposures and cancers common among cabin crew,” said Irina Mordukhovich from the Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, included data from a survey of 5,366 US flight attendants, who were then then compared the prevalence of cancers among the general public.

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The results showed that flight attendants had a higher prevalence of every cancer that was examined, especially breast cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer among females.

The findings suggest that additional efforts should be made to minimize the risk of cancer among flight attendants, including monitoring radiation dose and organising schedules to minimize radiation exposure and circadian rhythm disruption, the researchers suggested. (IANS)

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New DNA Tool to Predict People’s Height and Risk For Cancer

They put the algorithm to work, evaluating each participant's DNA and teaching the computer to pull out these distinct differences

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New ML-tool uses DNA to predict height and cancer risk. Pixabay

Researchers have developed a new DNA tool that uses machine learning to accurately predict people’s height and assess their risk for serious illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

The tool, or algorithm, predicts human traits such as height, bone density and even the level of education a person might achieve that is purely based on one’s genetic material. However, the applications may not stop there.

“While we have validated this tool for these three outcomes, we can now apply this method to predict other complex traits related to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes and breast cancer,” said lead author Stephen Hsu, from Michigan State University, US.

In the study, published in the journal Genetics, the researchers analysed the complete genetic makeup of nearly 5,00,000 adults using machine learning, where a computer learns from data.

The computer accurately predicted everyone’s height within roughly an inch, findings revealed.

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DNA, Pixabay

“The algorithm looks at the genetic makeup and height of each person. The computer learns from each person and ultimately produces a predictor that can determine how tall they are from their genome alone,” Hsu said.

Importantly, while bone density and educational attainment predictors were not as precise, they were accurate enough to identify individuals who were at risk of having very low bone density with osteoporosis or were at risk of struggling in school.

They put the algorithm to work, evaluating each participant’s DNA and teaching the computer to pull out these distinct differences.

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“Our team believes this is the future of medicine. For the patient, a genomic test can be as simple as a cheek swab, with a cost of about $50,” Hsu said.

“Once we calculate the predictors for genetically-based diseases, early intervention can save billions of dollars in treatment costs, and more importantly, save lives,” he noted, adding “This is only the beginning.” (IANS)

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