Now available: Cancer Autism and Their Epigenetic Roots

July 16, 2014

Epigenetics is a fascinating topic, currently achieving great interest within the scientific community. However, based on an anecdotal survey of friends and aquaintances in Newport, Kentucky, there's not a great deal of attention being paid to the topic among the general public. For the past couple of years I have been working on a book aimed at remedying this situation. Published by McFarland, this work is now available. Cancer, Autism and Their Epigenetic Roots discusses the history  and development of the concept with some side trips to present some of the scientists who have made contributions to the modern science of genetics and epigenetics over the years.

In the course of assembling the book, I interviewed a number of scientists working in the field. Several times I spoke with Dr. Michael Skinner, a molecular endocrinologist at Washington State University. He has argued a number of controversial positions which guided much of my writing. One of the most controverted is his belief that epimutagens can cause changes that are perpetuated through multiple generations. He has discussed these finding in an article intended at a wider audience in the August 2014 issue of the Scientific American.

Skinner has assembled a powerful body of evidence (some of which I present in my book) that exposure of rats to the fungicide vinclozolin causes testicular abnormalities that can be perpetuated through at least five generations. There are many chemicals that are universal in our environment, such as the component of plastics, BPA that may be contributing to an increase in many debilitating conditions including cancer, autism, obesity, diabetes and many other disorders.

As I state, these are disturbing conclusions, but if substantiated, they may require a radical restructuring of our society.  


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