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Alcohol leaves its mark on youngsters' DNA
Date:12/30/2013

damaged, it leaves a halo in the electrophoresis," which is called, "the comet tail". And in actual fact the chromatin of the exposed group left a small halo, greater than that of the control group. To be precise, the results revealed damage in 8% of the cells in the control group and 44% in the exposed group. Therefore, the exposed group had 5.3 times more damaged cells.

To be able to confirm the existence of considerable damage to the DNA, the comet tail must exceed 20 nm, and that was not the case. "Fortunately," the researcher pointed out, "but the fact is, there should not have been any damage at all because they had not been consuming alcohol for very long, they had not been exposed in a chronic way." The means by which alcohol manages to alter DNA is not yet known. The next step would be as follows: to study the re-packaging of the chromatin and the behaviour of complex mechanisms like the histones in these individuals.

"When we talk about youth alcohol abuse, we are referring to youngsters who drink alcohol without having become addicted. Addiction involves a more complex issue socially and psychologically speaking. This is social alcohol abuse," said the researcher, "but which causes damage in the long term and you have to be aware of that."


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