H177 Midterm Pimentel


Published on

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

H177 Midterm Pimentel

  1. 1. Honors 177 Havoc in the Garden: Relating Food Consumption to Cancer Incidence Matt Pimentel Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
  2. 2. ABSTRACT The creation of an installation of a genetically modified soybean garden that contains a form of metastatic cancer will explore the intersection between food consumption and cancer incidence. Viewers will observe cancer progression directly and be led to question the detrimental effects of genetic modification. Ultimately the aim of this project is to encourage people to think critically about their everyday food consumption habits and their health.
  3. 3. CONCEPT/TOPIC Optical imaging techniques are currently used in the scientific field to investigate cancer dynamics in vivo, such as metastasis, and I would like to apply this to a botanical project. The term “metastasis” refers to the spreading of a disease from one site to another inside the body, and such prognosis in breast cancer patients is associated with the worse outcome. There is much speculation about the health benefits of soy in our diets, but what is known is that it produces a compound similar in structure to estrogen, the primary female sex hormone. Therefore this project utilizes soybean plants in an attempt to specifically address breast cancer.
  4. 4. CONTEXT & PRECEDENTS Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death by cancer among women and is the most common type of cancer among women in the Western world1. New therapeutic measures are actively researched every day in an effort to cure breast cancer, and while genes are obviously an important culprit in breast cancer incidence, food consumption may also play a role in the development of cancer2. Genetically modified food achieves this capacity by introducing toxins that produce deleterious effects and become mutation driving forces within the body3. It is important that people are aware of the harm in genetic modification of food, especially plants, like soybean, which are utilized in many processed foods.
  5. 5. PROJECT PROPOSAL Day 0: Day 7: No mets Increasing metastatic spread Severe mets A plant cancer cell line will be created that responds to the estrogen- like compound produced by soy plants, isoflavones. This cell line will be injected orthotopically into random regions at the base of the soy plant, as the primary tumor will interfere the least with the structural growth of the plant in this area. The primary tumor will spontaneously metastasize around day 3 and the most severe metastatic spread will be observed on day 7. Soy plants will be arranged linearly in the garden with the first row of plants having no form of cancer to the 7th row of plants having the most metastatic spread.
  6. 6. Project Proposal (cont.) Two radiotracers will be injected into the vasculature of the plant. The first radiotracer will be visible as a red color and will incorporate itself solely in the vasculature of the plant. The second of which will incorporate itself into the cancer cells of the plant and the color will be unique for each plant. A gamma camera will be able to detect the radiotracers and a colorful display will be projected onto a screen behind the soybean garden.
  7. 7. Project Proposal (cont.) This installation will be placed in a heavily populated plant area, such as the botanical gardens at UCLA, and comment on the intersection between biotechnological advances and our health.
  8. 8. CONCLUSION Food and its relationship to cancer incidence is difficult to perceive and qualify, however it is evident that food in a broad sense has an important, if not essential role in our health status. The effects of our choices will vary regardless of similar environmental conditions or habits, but in the end each person must take responsibility for their own consumption choices. This is alluded to in the specific color choices of radiotracers. The red vasculature amongst all of the plants emphasizes the similarity amongst the plants as being independent, living, “breathing” entities afflicted with cancer. This contrasts with the unique color of each plant’s cancer cells which alludes to the idea of cancer as a personal struggle. Ultimately the purpose of this proposal is to promote critical thinking about food modification and propose that we do have some ability to prevent cancer by remaining aware of our food choices.
  9. 9. REFERENCES 1. “Detailed Guide: Breast Cancer.” 2009. American Cancer Society. 10 Feb 2010. <http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_1x_what_are_the_key_stati stics_for_breast_cancer_5.asp> 2. “GM Food Can Cause Cancer.” Golden Harvest Organics. 10 Feb 2010. < http://www.ghorganics.com/GM%20food%20can%20cause%20cancer.htm> 3. Hsieh CY, Santell RC, Haslam SZ, Helferich WG. Estrogenic effects of genistein on the growth of estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells in vitro and in vivo. Cancer Res 1999 Mar 15;59(6):1388.
  10. 10. BIBLIOGRAPHY/LINKS “The Anti-Cancer Diet.” Ask Dr. Sears.com. 2006. 10 Feb. 2010. <http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t040300.asp>. Brown, Collin. “Suppressed report shows cancer link to GM potatoes.” The Independent. 17 Feb. 2007. 11 Feb 2010 < http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/suppressed-report-shows-cancer-link-to-gm- potatoes-436673.html>. Cummins, Ronnie. “Hazards of Genetically Engineered Foods and Crops: Why We Need A Global Moratorium.” 29 Aug. 1999. 11 Feb. 2010 < http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/geff4.html>. “Genetically engineered foods.” Healing Daily. 2002. 11 Feb. 2010 <http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/genetically- engineered-foods.htm>. “GM Food can Cause Cancer.” GM Watch. 22 Oct. 2009. 11 Feb. 2010 < http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news- items/11612-qgm-food-can-cause-cancerq-seralini>. “GM Food Can Cause Cancer.” Health Freedom Alliance. 10 Feb. 2010. < http://blogs.healthfreedomalliance.org/blog/2009/10/27/gm-food-can-cause-cancer/>. Harris, William. “Cancer and the Vegetarian Diet.” The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism. 21 Dec. 1999. 11 Feb. 2010 < http://www.vegsource.com/harris/cancer_vegdiet.htm>. “Is Soy Healthy?” Healing Daily. 11 Feb. 2010. <http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/soy.htm?>. “Soy Alert!” The Weston A. Price Foundation. 10 Feb 2010 < http://www.westonaprice.org/Soy-Alert/>. Whitman, Deborah. “Genetically Modified Foods: Harmful or Helpful?” Proquest. April 2002. 11 Feb. 2010 < http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/gmfood/overview.php>.