FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (under construction!):

Please note:  these are not a compilation of actual 'frequently asked questions' about AGiR! in general, not yet, at least.  (Do please send in your questions via the 'contact' link!)
However, we hope that these 'filler' items will help you start thinking about potential exposure risks and DNA damage, even from such common things like hair dyeing...  

but first,
drum roll... 
here is the first real 'frequently asked question' answered:

Why does AGiR! use a lower case 'i' in its logo?

The lower case 'i' is used because the idea is that 'Genomic integrity' is a new big picture concept, putting together all the molecular details (DNA, RNA, and the epigenome) that impact genomic integrity to affect genetic functions in cells.
Additionally, several AGIR's exist out there already, with all four letters in caps!  :)

And here is another commonly posed question: 

Why does the 'donate now' button lead to a page with bank account numbers (like that IBAN one) instead of going directly to a standard credit card form?

As a public service association, AGiR! is not about making money, although we are very grateful for any contributions which can help us to spread information and promote research on genomic integrity.  Furthermore, AGiR! would like for people to make their donations thoughtfully, and many people prefer to use their e-banking, rather than credit cards which always include extra charges, so we provide the account details simply in this way.  Please do ask, if you would like to donate and using these numbers is a problem for you!

Wonder what the next common question might be...

Here it is!!

Why is the '3d logo trio' in the AGiR! front page so very soothing?
(at least a few people have asked me that!!) must give cause to wonder…

Couldn't say for sure… Something about the timing of it all?
But, it is another site (loxia studios) that made it for us…
(We like it very much, too!)

hmmm, wonder again what might be next


In the meantime, here is some food for thought (primarily in relation to the hairdye/DNA aspects of genomic integrity, which is of course only one of many issues in this regard):

How?

Chemistry allows a variety of interactions between substances and DNA, some of them quite damaging. 
Chemistry also allows hair dye ingredients to persist in the hairshaft, giving colors of various shades.  
Unfortunately, these ingredients might also thus be able to get right into the cell nucleus (where genetic information is both stored and utilized for gene expression), with negative impacts on genomic integrity.

When?

When mutations are really fixed in the genome is usually considered to be sometime during or after S phase of the cell cycle, when DNA is being replicated (synthesized).  When the damage occurs to DNA can be simply from an initial encounter (i.e. UV radiation) or from interactions of DNA with metabolites of the absorbed pre-carcinogen (i.e. arylamines like aminophenol). Genomic integrity can also be disrupted because of secondary effects, for instance faulty cell cycle checkpoints or the generation of reactive oxygen species inside the cell. 
When someone gets their hair done, they may be exposed to many toxic ingredients, although avoiding the scalp (dyeing 'meshes') can limit this.  However, most of the ingredients get rinsed down the drain. Thus, this illustrates how all this is also an environmental public health issue.


What?

Anything with a benzene ring structure might easily slip into between bases of nucleic acids, leading to disruption of normal cellular processes like gene expression ('transcription') or DNA replication and induce mutations. Aminophenol is one hair dye ingredient which is also a carcinogen from cigarette smoke, and is used to simplify discussions in genomicintegrity.org, but obviously many chemical interactions occur during hair dyeing, and the final chemical conformations of these ingredients could result in final cellular impacts. Other chemical modifications of DNA bases or its backbone (alkylation, oxidation, etc.) also can lead to transcription and/or replication stresses and ultimately fix new mutations in the genome after the activity of repair enzymes.  

Remember, outright toxicity to cells is not so problematic as their survival with the key mutation(s) in the wrong gene(s).

Why?

Why?  Perhaps to increase mutations, providing a base for selection?  This can be argued, but the biologist realizes that most non-silent mutations are deleterious.
Why worry??  Wide use of such products (even though already outlawed in some areas of Europe) by ever younger and broader populations is a serious cause for concern.  Increases in rates of cancer and diseases like autism might be related to this broad use.

Where?

In all cells, within the cell nucleus, is the happening place for genomic integrity  :) , where chromosomes of DNA go through cycles of gene expression and, in the case of a required cell division, replication.  For all cells, genomic integrity needs to be maintained throughout these cell cycles!  Additionally, genomic integrity is plastic, changed by experience, as in the case of developing immune cells which undergo error prone recombination, and perhaps even the nervous system.  While we each carry a patchwork of mutations, these need to function correctly together to maintain controlled growth, development and repair.  When the wrong hits put the balance out of whack, the organism has lost genomic integrity, and it (and the society it is part of) suffers.




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(1619k)
Rachel Aronoff,
Jul 18, 2014, 8:48 AM