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Genetic Integrity Cancer Protection Project

Program Mission

The Genetic Integrity Project is designed to protect genetic resources, the integrity of genetic material and species biodiversity. As a corollary of this mission, the project focuses on reinforcing and protecting the natural mechanisms that usually shield organisms from genetic damage.

Project Focus

Genetic damage is at the core of many undesirable processes, from cancer to birth defects. The project will focus on reducing genetic damage from exposure to agents that can harm DNA. The project will include the following:

  • An investigation of genetic integrity from the viewpoint of genetic engineering. Gene insertion, as presently done, can disrupt genetic integrity of individual organisms. The resulting instability and possible fragmentation of genomes is a critical and underappreciated area.

  • An analysis of the loss of genetic diversity at a species level. This loss has ensued not only because of species extinction, but from the pollution of genetic material by foreign genes brought in by genetic engineering and subsequent genetic contamination of nearby related species.

  • A thoroughgoing evaluation of the extent to which suspected genotoxic chemicals, particularly certain pesticides and industrial byproducts, have impacted the genetic resources of our planet.

  • A re-examination of the role of genetic damage in the production of cancer. Major cancer-associated genes normally protect DNA against mutations and related damage. When such genes, like those linked to breast cancer (BRCA1/2) or cancer generally (TP53) are themselves mutated or rendered inoperable, genetically damaged cells proliferate and cancer is often the consequence.
Program Rationale

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