DNA is weirder than we thought. Why you’re what your parents ate or breathed.


Genetics (DNA) is like a piano.  Epigenetics is the music affected by the environment, in utero, chemicals, drugs, aging and diet. 


Methyl groups (epigenetic factor) can mark “tag” lock DNA (DNA methylation) and turn off genes that repair cancer or prevent diabetes and heart disease. 


Firefighters have higher cancer rates. Our studies found firefighters were exposed to combustion products that caused DNA methylation that can predispose to cancer.  Modern fires burn plastics and computers that are more dangerous than prior fires of wood and metal. Protective gear does not prevent all the exposures to combustion products based on our study of firefighter skin contaminated after a fire — local firefighters have the highest melanoma rates in the US due to UV light and chemical exposures. 


Wildland firefighters (Bighorn Fire) use bandanas that offer minimal protection. 
Scientific dogma has been epigenetic marks aren’t passed to human offspring (plants can transmit to the next generation).  Evidence in mice and WWII famine and Holocaust survivors suggest it can.  In which case can the epigenetic damage in firefighters (or anyone) be inherited by their children?
Wayne Peate ~ Biography
First generation American. Born at Davis Monthan Air Force Base.
Degrees: Harvard MPH, Stanford BA, Dartmouth MD & Rincon High. First member of his family to attend a 4 year college.
 Awards: In 2018 firefighters from 3 counties initiated an annual award: “The Dr. Wayne Peate Health and Safety Award” — Wayne was the first recipient.       Eagle Scout.
 Cancer researcher, University of Arizona since 1983. Founding faculty College of Public Health
 Author: 34 articles, 8 books &1 play Gaslight Theater. His best seller: Listening with Your Heart (Rio Nuevo Press)
 Military: Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Reserve, Medical Corps.
 Community service: Refugee Camp doctor for 40,000 in Somalia.
 Founding chairman: Pima JTED “Jay-Ted” School District Governing Board. 125,000 graduates. 98% graduation rate.
 Past President: Harvard School of Public Health Alumni Association; Past President Tucson Ulster Project.
 Member of Rotary Club of Tucson since 1987.
 Business owner: Founder WellAmerica, Inc. health care for public safety personnel from 23 agencies.  Associate Medical Director Valor Hospice.
 Personal: 10 Marathons: Antarctica and UP Mt. Lemmon X 3.  Instrument rated pilot. 
 Married: Dr. Lynn Struthers, for 37 years, 3 daughters: Elise who works with movie music composer John Williams; Marissa (Paul Kantor) emergency/trauma RN at Torrance Memorial, CA; Lauren (Josh Jacobsen) CEO for her own software company.
 Certifications: Hospice Medical Director Certification, Board Certified American College of Preventive Medicine (Occupational).