30 October, 2020

‘Cancer Can Be Prevented’

Most of the times, diseases are a result of interaction between the environment and our genes, says bio-scientist Dr Dwaipayan Bharadwaj.

Photograph by Vijay Pandey
‘Cancer Can Be Prevented’
outlookindia.com
2017-09-09T12:03:51+05:30

Dr Dwaipayan Bharadwaj, professor at the School of Biotechnology, JNU, and fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, was once a senior principal scientist working at a public-funded genomic project. He is pushing the frontiers of genetic understanding of many diseases. Excerpts from an interview with Zia Haq:

How has newer understanding of our genes helped make fighting diseases, such as cancer, easier?

As a scientist, I can say what my understanding is. First of all, there is a misconception regarding genes. People don’t understand it well. If I take a sample from your hair follicle or blood or any other part, I will find the same DNA everywhere. Now these genes can modify. A gene can be methylated, for instance (put simply, methylation is one of several mechanisms through which expression of a gene is switched on or off). That kind of modification happens. But you cannot modify gene sequencing. That is constant. That’s the basic science. Now, mutation is when there is...

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