We have spoken a lot about the changes epigenetics brings to our cells and thus our bodies. We have also spoken about the concept that it is not really about us but our DNA. Life anywhere is about the DNA. If we think back DNA started before single cell organisms and involved into cells then more complex organisms and finally humans. Are we the end of DNA’s line? I don’t think so. DNA is a marvelous system designed to incorporate changes to its environment. It does this via natural selection. This is how we all have evolved. But what are these changes that it selects? I believe they are the epigenetic changes in our cells. They react instantly to everyday changes. Most of these changes are small and may be temporary. Some changes like changing climate or diet or long-term and cause DNA to be triggered to counter balance the changes. If these changes cause the organism’s heritage to survive longer, they are eventually made to the base DNA. There are no good or bad changes. Changing our epigenetics may make us survive an event better but it may also cause a problem like cancer. Eventually an organism evolves with a modified DNA that allows the survival changes but not the cancer. If this happens that organism is naturally selected to move on. From a cell point of view we are not much different from a yeast cell. They have about 50% the same DNA as we do. UPDATE NOTE THE PERCENTAGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BREWERS YEAST AND HUMANS IS MORE LIKE 30%!
What Do We Have in Common with a Yeast Cell?
January 10, 2011