As we learn more about epigenetics and begin to map epigenetic markers to health & well-being, will we be entering a brave new world? Will giving blood in the future require it to undergo epigenetic marker evaluations? Testing blood in this way may indicate if the subject is healthy or will be healthy or depressed in the future. We might want to know if the DNA in that blood is marked for disease, stress, etc or not.

Will couples undergo epigenetic marker tests to predict what kind of children they will have? Will they be healthy and slim or not? Will our epigenetic markers be protected by law? This new science will have vast effects on our social, religious and legal systems and may even change how we think about other people. Will it become the new way to be prejudice against others? Will you be a minority because of your epigenetic markers?

I can see future TV commercials that ask “Is your A478 gene ON? Take GeneOff to switch it back off and live happier.” Our children may very well see this world. My hope is that scientists will try to map what environmental changes (diet, stress, toxins, etc.) turn the gene ON/OFF and not just think about a new drug that will do it. Turning these genes ON/OFF naturally by changing our lives is safe and within the control of our bodies. Turning a particular gene ON/OFF via a drug can be very risky. Suppose that you turn off a gene but another related gene is left ON. This may cause a worse situation than the original problem. For sure this subject matter is very complex.

Advertisements