Time: Tue Dec 02 14:06:52 1997
To: <pnpj@db1.cc.rochester.edu>
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: Genetic Defects Make People Smell like Rotting Fish


I can't stand it.  Please don't make
me wait any longer.  Pleeeeze!!!


Can it be transmitted via modems?  8-]

/s/ Paul Mitchell

At 10:24 AM 12/2/97 -0400, you wrote:
>When all seems dark and dim, just remember--it could be worse. 
>Genetic Defects Make People Smell like
>               Rotting Fish
>               AP
>               02-DEC-97
>               NEW YORK (AP) Two competing teams of scientists have
>identified genetic defects that cause
>               "fish-odor syndrome," a distressing disease that makes people
>smell like rotting fish. 
>               People with the uncommon disorder can be ridiculed as
>children and grow up to be lonely and
>               depressed. 
>               "These people lose jobs, they lose friends, they're often
>very isolated," said Dr. Eileen Treacy of
>               McGill University in Montreal, who led one of the teams that
>found the flaws in a single gene. 
>               Robert L. Smith of the Imperial College School of Medicine in
>London, a member of the other group,
>               told of a woman who divorced her husband because she thought
>he was not keeping himself clean.
>               When she learned he had the disorder, "she was full of
>remorse," he said. 
>               No cure is known for fish-odor syndrome, although avoiding
>certain foods and taking antibiotics can
>               help. The new work might lead to better therapies,
>researchers said. 
>               The British research team, led by Ian R. Phillips of the
>University of London, reports its work in the
>               December issue of the journal Nature Genetics. Treacy's
>results were presented last month at a
>               genetics meeting. 
>               It's not clear how common fish-odor syndrome is. Smith said
>it is mentioned in some ancient
>               literature and even caught the attention of Shakespeare, who
>in "The Tempest" describes a character
>               with "a very ancient and fish-like smell." 
>               The newly found defects sabotage production of effective
>forms of an enzyme called FMO3. The
>               liver needs that enzyme to process a smelly protein called
>TMA or trimethylamine, which is
>               produced by bacteria in the gut. When TMA goes unprocessed,
>it seeps out in a person's breath and
>               perspiration, causing the offensive body odor. 
>               People with the disorder are told to avoid eating fish from
>the sea, eggs, liver and other foods that
>               contain raw materials for making TMA. They can also take
>antibiotics, but only intermittently, to
>               reduce production of the stench. 
>               Everybody has two copies of the FMO3 gene, one inherited from
>each parent. The disorder arises
>               when both copies are defective. 
>               It appears shortly after birth. Mothers find an affected baby
>"smells a bit odd" and may bathe the
>               child several times a day in the next few months, Smith said.
>The baby's bedroom may have a
>               "heavy, slightly objectionable smell, particularly around the
>curtains and furnishings," he said. 
>               Later, in school, the child is often ridiculed as "Stinky" or
>"Fishy," said Smith, who said children
>               have been forced to leave schools because of the derision. 
>               Some affected people reach their teens without finding out
>why their peers are avoiding them,
>               knowing only "there's something wrong about them that they
>don't understand," Smith said. 
>               Many affected people go into jobs where they can work alone.
>Some start smoking heavily to try to
>               disguise the smell, Smith said. 
>               "It's an awful condition for them to have to live with,
>particularly teen-agers and young people
>               trying to make their lives and careers," Smith said. "They
>labor under this disadvantage. It's a dead
>               weight on them." 
>                Copyright 1997 & The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or
>                                          redistributed. 
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