I was once working in the new frontier of science called genomics. It was neat to be working in a field that was considered cutting edge and a whole new field of vast importance. Well, now there is a new frontier emerging with equal interest and equal promise of providing new understanding and explanations for our inner functioning. It is the field of epigenetics. TIME magazine just came out with a great article on it last week.
The cover story in TIME magazine last week is entitled “Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny” (HERE)
by John Cloud. I was amazed at what a great job the writer did with a
very complicated subject. Furthermore, I was actually giddy with excitement. This is a lot of the concepts I try to explain to people and now there is a whole field of study being devoted to it!
I am somebody who believes in genetics and evolution as two
important matters, not just in the great span of time, but also in our
individual lives. Before I get into the subject of epigenetics let me
give you a little background on evolution in general and genetics in
In the 150 years since Darwin published On the Origin of Species
the controlling belief was that your genes were your destiny. The good
genes conveyed a survival advantage that would persist over time, while
those that didn’t would be weeded out...survival of the fittest. Today, the novice or unenlightened simplify this concecpt and believe could pretty much do
whatever you wanted to yourself, drink or smoke, eat processed, fast food, foods full of preservatives, dyes, and trans fats, but it wouldn't maater because your life span and the diseases that you would suffer from would simply happen because of your genes not your habits. And furthermore, when your kids were born they got a blank slate when it came
to their genetics. The sins,
health habits or environmental exposures of the parent did not pass
onto the children. I think we have all seen that email in our inboxes come through. You know the one where they make the comet when we were kids we ate dirt and our mothers smoked and drank when they were pregnant and hey look we are alive aren't we?
Well, finally a new emerging field of research is shedding light on this misconceived notion that our genes are our destiny and the way we conduct ourselves and the environment we create within our bodies has no baring on how are genes play out. Can I tell you how excited I am! So everyone check it out. You will thank you for learning more on this important topic, your kids will thank you and your grandkids!
So remember everyone, what you and your kids do and eat today does effect how you feel, act, and look tomorrow and it can even effect future generations to come!