Genetic Integrity Cancer Protection Project
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.
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
- 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.
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