This is the time of year when people are fertilizing their lawns and putting pesticides on them. A new study shows that these chemicals may cause bladder cancer in some dogs?and maybe in people too. Researcher Larry Glickman says, "While we hope to determine which of the many chemicals in lawn treatments are responsible, we also hope the similarity between human and dog genomes will allow us to find the genetic predisposition toward this form of cancer found in both Scotties and certain people.
"These dogs are more sensitive to some factors in their environment," Glickman says. "As pets tend to spend a fair amount of time in contact with plants treated with herbicides and insecticides, we decided to find out whether lawn chemicals were having any effect on cancer frequency."
Glickman talked to 83 owners of Scottish terriers whose pets had recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer and learned that "The risk?was found to be between four and seven times more likely in exposed animals." Scotties are about 20 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than other breeds.
According to the National Cancer Institute, about 38,000 men and 15,000 women are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. Humans and animals share genes that can predispose them to cancer. Glickman says, "If such a gene exists in dogs, it's likely that it exists in a similar location in the human genome. Finding the dog gene could save years in the search for it in humans and could also help us determine which kids need to stay away from lawn chemicals."
Every day, someone asks us to identify the theme music of Anne Strieber's new show Mysterious Powers. To all you listeners out there, here's the answer. The wonderful Dreamland theme The O of Pleasure is available on two CDs.
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