• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss recent research regarding the role of dioxin as a possible causative agent in birth defects, cancer, liver and thymus damage, and immune system suppression in humans.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss recent research regarding the role of dioxin as a possible causative agent in birth defects, cancer, liver and thymus damage, and immune system suppression in humans. The term 'dioxin' is given to a class of approximately 419 chemically related compounds, with 30 of these chemicals having a significant toxicity1 Dioxins are an unwanted by-product of many industrial processes including pesticide manufacturing, pulp and paper bleaching and burning plastics. The most potent and dangerous of these chemicals, 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo-para-dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD), is listed as a Class-1 carcinogen, which by definition is a known human carcinogen.2 2,3,7,8-TCDD has been found to be a major unwanted contaminant in the herbicide 'Agent Orange' which was used extensively in the Vietnam War. The effects of this is still being felt worldwide today. Wide ranges of varying effects have been observed with animals exposed to varying levels of dioxins, in particular the dioxin 2,3,7,8-TCDD. There has been extensive on-going research regarding the effects of dioxins on certain animals to ascertain the integral biochemical factors related to dioxins and their potency in the hope that these effects may be maintained and prevented. ...read more.

Middle

This complex of receptor and its conjugate ligand can then be translocated into the cell's nucleus and interact with the DNA within; thus controlling gene activity. The dioxin-specific receptor, which is present in most living organisms, is called the Ah receptor, or aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Most dioxins and their related compounds bind to this receptor with a high affinity, thus being able to be translocated into the cell's nucleus and bind to the DNA. The AhR receptor's main function is to attach to natural toxicants, attach to the DNA and induce the production of a group of enzymes, which work to catalyse the breakdown of the toxicant, thus rendering it harmless. Once the dioxin-receptor complex has entered the cell's nucleus, it binds to certain elements within the DNA strands called Dioxin Responsive Elements (DRE's), which are also named Xenobiotic Responsive Elements (XRE's).4 The main DRE interaction that occurs is the interaction between the dioxin-receptor complex and a gene CypIA1. CypIA1 is responsible for the synthesis of the cytochromes P450IA1 and P450IA2, groups of enzymes, which are used for the metabolism of the toxicants, and ligands that bind to the AhR. ...read more.

Conclusion

The above results suggest that perhaps the carcinogenicity of dioxins has been overestimated slightly, due to the number of real cases being below the number of expected cases. The results of a long-term study involving people directly affected by the disaster were presented at a symposium, 20 years after the accident, and they concluded that: * Chloracne was positively correlated to 2,3,7,8-TCDD exposure. * Miscarriages, perinatal mortality, and other birth defects rose slightly.7 In research not directly related to humans, rats are a common subject to dioxin research. As mentioned earlier, exposure to dioxins (2,3,7,8-TCDD in particular) can cause adverse effects to a number of organs, most notably the liver and thyroid. This was observed in experiments carried out in rats and mice exposed to 2,3,7,8-TCDD.8 Conclusion There is evidence to suggest that perhaps dioxins are the causative agents for these diseases, however, the results do not conclusively prove that this is the case. However, most of the results so far obtained by laboratory experiments have supported the hypothesis discussed earlier in this paper. The dioxin debate will continue to rage for years, and only through extensive laboratory research can the true measure of what dioxins are capable of be fully realised. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Understanding and using research

    4 star(s)

    I got these Statistics from the Social Trends 38 This table shows the death rates linked to alcohol related causes. The number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK was 4,144 in 1991 and 8,758 in 2006. Death rates from alcohol-related causes were much higher among men than women and the

  2. Unit 6

    being have different culture when take about something they may be right because the way society grow up or bankgread live. **career aspiration* The career i had in their placement don*t want to do because I had fear from my area and it long journey as that didn*t have choice because the work wasn*t my area .

  1. Unit 7 Sociology

    they will look at different causes of illnesses they pay very little attention to the environment or any social factors. The bio-medical model is largely followed by functionalists, if people are ill within the community then they can't fulfill their role within the society therefore society will not run smoothly

  2. Physiological disorder

    If the individual is very positive about their illness they will have a better self concept and self esteem ad will recovered more easily as they will take each stage at a time.

  1. Research In Clinical Practise

    The quantitative research method of RCT was, perhaps, chosen in favour of qualitative methods due to its scientific nature. The section also includes an overall description of the research design and details of the proposed methodology - recruitment, inclusion criteria and patient assessment and treatment are explained in detail.

  2. Mental Illness/nature nurture debate

    to reduce the production rate of dopamine such drugs may include, largactil, stelazine and modecate. Such drugs can only regulate the amount of dopamine produced they cannot get rid of the reason why so much dopamine was being produced in the first place.

  1. Ovarian cancer

    carcinoma of the endometrium, they are now thought to be of mullerian duct origin and variants of endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Clear cell tumors of the ovary can be predominantly solid or cystic. In the solid neoplasm, the clear cells are arranged in sheets or tubules.

  2. Purposes and Methods of Research

    there are participants involved in it, because they might change their behaviour and thoughts about reason they are involved in. With the use of the experiments the psychologists can quickly speed up with their research because they don?t have to wait to investigate a certain issue.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work