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Monday, July 11, 2005

Bad News, Good  

The bad news for Vietnam veterans (and others too, probably) is that exposure to Agent Orange/Dioxin seems to increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The release doesn't say so, but I would suspect that this increase could be due to destruction of islet cells or other damage to vital organs. If this is not the case, however, we get into Really Interesting territory: a chemical trigger for a disease can greatly facilitate and stimulate research: it'd be easier to create animal models, and figuring out just what biochemistry is happening can point to greater understanding and new treatments. Come to think of it, even if dioxin is just killing islet cells, that might be a good way of getting animal models. Hmm.

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