Magical Genetics Claim: Maternal smoking causes asthma in THIRD generation

Epigenetics is a major new front in junk science. Imagine — smoking irreversibly changes gene expression in existing eggs so as to effect health three generations later!

It’s hard to tell from the abstract what evidence the researchers have for this astounding conclusion, but maybe since smoking is so politically incorrect, evidence is not needed.

The media release is below.

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LA BioMed researchers find maternal smoking linked to asthma in the third generation

Great-grandmother’s cigarette habit could be the cause of child’s asthma

LOS ANGELES – (August 5, 2013) – With some 300 million people around the world living with asthma, a study by Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) researchers that was released ahead-of- print found for the first time that maternal smoking can cause the third generation of offspring to suffer from the chronic lung disease.

The study, published online by the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, reported that maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy is linked to asthma in the third generation in disease models. This is known as a “transgenerational” linkage because the third generation was never directly exposed to nicotine or smoking. Previous research had found nicotine exposure was linked to asthma in the second generation, or was a “multigenerational” cause of asthma.

“Even though there are multiple causes for childhood asthma, research linking this serious chronic condition to maternal nicotine exposure during pregnancy for up to three generations should give mothers-to-be even more reasons to reconsider smoking,” said Virender K. Rehan, MD, an LA BioMed lead researcher and the corresponding author of the study. “Eliminating the use of tobacco during pregnancy could help halt the rise in childhood asthma and ensure healthier children for generations to come.”

Worldwide, approximately 250 million women smoke daily, and the number of people living with asthma is expected to grow by about a third by 2025, reaching approximately 400 million. Twelve percent of women in the U.S. continue to smoke during pregnancy, resulting in the birth of at least 400,000 smoke-exposed infants per year in the U.S. alone.

In previous studies, the researchers have concluded that the cause of the second generation’s asthma was epigenetic modification (an environmental factor causing a genetic change). Nicotine was affecting both the lung cells and the sex cells in ways that caused the lungs that developed from those cells to develop abnormally, causing asthma. The current study “paves the way for determining the epigenetic mechanisms” behind smoking and the transmission of asthma to future generations, the researchers concluded.

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6 responses to “Magical Genetics Claim: Maternal smoking causes asthma in THIRD generation

  1. Two thoughts:
    1, It’s a model, it needs no proof, or at least according to Mann.

    2. Should be pretty easy to check out with real life data. Look at the kids today whose parents never smoked and the the grandparents did and see if there is more asthma in the kids of the smoking grandparents. You need families who had no contact with grandparents or very, very strict rules about the grandparents never smoking around the grandchildren, plus the children can never have been around anyone, ever, who smoked, but even with that tiny sample, it may be possible to see the link. That would of course question the model and that is sacrilege, but maybe in this one case we could try it.

  2. Lysenko, anyone? A successful fellow in the old USSR, and judging from recent US administration spoken wishes and actual attempts to shut critics down, a role model here in the States.
    from http://hplusmagazine.com/2013/05/22/trofim-lysenko-soviet-ideology-and-pseudo-science/ :

    … Soviet botanist Nikolai Vavilov carried out a five-year study showing that verbalization did not increase crop yields,…
    Nikolai Vavilov was arrested in 1940 and died in prison of malnutrition three years later….By destroying his rivals, Lysenko became the scientific dictator of the Soviet Union for many years.

  3. And the sins of the mother shall pass down unto even the third generation.

  4. UTTER B.S. Mom and Granny were smokers. I am third generation and the ONLY ONE without asthma in my maternal line. (Cousins Moms who married Mom’s brothers didn’t smoke)

    So there is a case that ‘Disproves’ this study. (Snicker)

  5. If they can get a foothold, supporting the danger of nicotine (not now banned), they can shut down electronic cigarettes, which is a natural goal of the nanny staters….
    Jim

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