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Old 06-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm not clear on this. My understanding is that in order to pass anything on, the DNA in the cells of your sperm or eggs must have mutated. Each cell in your body has it's own copy of your DNA, and I picture smoking as causing random mutations in random cells throughout the body. If the DNA in a lung cell is changed, the DNA in your other cells are not affected. So mutations would be passed on only if cells within a sperm or egg are affected. Certainly this could happen after years of smoking, but would not be common.

When they say "Mutations in DNA caused by, for example, cigarette smoke are passed on to every subsequent generation of daughter cells" they are referring to daughter cells produced by dividing cells in your body -- not the cells of your daughter.

My limited genetics knowledge is rusty, so refresh my memory here.
I Googled it and found:
When you have a genetic mutation, you have a permanent change in the DNA sequence of that gene. Some genetic mutations can be passed on to your children. This is referred to as a germline mutation and is made possible only when the mutation targets genes inside the cells responsible for making sperm and eggs. Once it's passed on to you by a parent, it appears in nearly all of your body's cells.

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Old 06-07-2012, 04:13 AM   #22
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Al, you are essentially right. Damage to a parent's DNA is generally not heritable. There is a whole big complex field called Epigenetics (warning: article contains many, many big words which only people like #1 son understand) which studies how traits can be passed on other than by straight mixing of Mom and Dad's DNA. But for most people who smoke, the damage they do to their kids will be in utero or during childhood.

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Old 06-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by frank View Post
The government, in order to extract billions of dollars from big tobacco and taxpayers, has connected the dots between smoking and just about every ailment known to man. sooner or later somebody will have to accept the fact that smoking is not connected to every death in this country and now they are trying to pass the danger to the next generation through changes in dna. I wonder how the government is going to get people to pay for problems that haven't arisen yet and might never happen?
Now, if they could only do something about the stink. Why anyone would want to smell like that is beyond me.

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