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Group DiscussionsFree

Environmental footprints in our DNA

Environmental pollution is now as severe as climate change and intimately entwined with our genes.

Intimately entwined are our genes and the environment. A staggering number of synthetic chemicals are present in industrial and agricultural use, and some can finish up in the food we consume. The sun’s radiation can also cause damage. These factors can alter bits of our DNA, called mutations, creating environmental footprints in our DNA. Mutations happen throughout our lives. Environmental pollution can increase the frequency of these mutations. Still, our primary defence lies in an array of cellular enzymes, some of which can neutralise many hazardous chemicals and others that can facilitate the ‘repair’ of much DNA damage. However, sometimes people inherit mutated faulty genes (the footprints) from their parents, giving them an increased risk of developing cancers and inheritable diseases.

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Additional Info

Group discussion

Grab a cuppa and engage with experts in a friendly, relaxed environment. There won’t be any slides, notes or formality here – just the chance to ask questions and listen to some of Scotland’s leading thinkers and practitioners on various subjects.

To encourage discussion and allow everyone an opportunity to ask questions, we have limited the number of spaces available.

To participate in a group discussion you MUST be aged 16+


Important points to note

  • This event is suitable for age 16+
  • Accessibility Statement: We aim to make events as accessible as possible. If you have any accessibility requirements or any questions about how we can support this event, please contact the RSE Public Engagement team on