Srinagar, January 5 (KMW): Alcohol consumption permanently damages the DNA in stem cells, which in turn increases the risk of developing cancer, a study led by an Indian-origin scientist warns.
Much previous research looking at the precise ways in which alcohol causes cancer has been done in cell cultures.
However, in the new study, researchers used mice to show how alcohol exposure leads to permanent genetic damage.
Scientists at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge in the UK gave diluted alcohol, chemically known as ethanol, to mice.
They then used chromosome analysis and DNA sequencing to examine the genetic damage caused by acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical produced when the body processes alcohol.
The researchers found that acetaldehyde can break and damage DNA within blood stem cells leading to rearranged chromosomes and permanently altering the DNA sequences within these cells.