News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Study shows genetic damage to Vietnam War vets

Study shows genetic damage to Vietnam War vets

A significant level of genetic damage to the DNA of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange poison has been found in a study by Massey molecular scientists.

The analysis of 25 veterans was conducted by Masters student Louise Edwards under the supervision of Dr Al Rowland, and the results of a genetic analysis are now in the hands of the veterans.

Ms Edwards and Dr Rowland from the Institute of Molecular Biosciences studied the rate of “sister chromatid exchange” in the cells – a test which analyses the way chromosomes self-replicate. A comparatively higher level of sister chromatid exchange identified in the study indicates genetic damage.

Dr Rowland says the sample is statistically small, but is significant in that it shows the group, who were exposed to a harmful environmental agent, have incurred genetic damage. The chromosomal reproduction of the 25 veterans was compared with a control group of 25 former servicemen who did not serve in Vietnam. Dr Rowland says the factors of smoking, alcohol consumption and the use of medical x-rays were taken into account when comparing the DNA of the two groups.

In April this year the Nuclear Test Veterans Association released the results of a similar study conducted by Dr Rowland. It involved the analysis of the DNA of Navy veterans exposed to nuclear radiation during Operation Grapple in 1957 and 1958 where nuclear bombs were detonated at Christmas Island and in the Malden Islands in Kiribati. A significant level of genetic damage was found in a series of five analyses to determine factors such as the amount of translocation in chromosomes, the efficiency of DNA repairs, and the level of DNA degradation.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

Negotiations Begin: Equal Conditions For Men & Women In Professional Football

The trade union representing New Zealand's professional footballers has initiated bargaining for an agreement securing equal terms and conditions for men and women. If negotiated, it will be the first agreement of its kind in the world. More>>

ALSO:


New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>

ALSO:


Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland