Two great examples of DNA vs. epigenetics are:
- Our DNA is like a computer’s hardware and epigenetics like its software. The environment (food, thinking and physical environment) is like data to the software. In a computer system the software uses the hardware instructions to accomplish its goals. It reads data and acts upon it to complete the original programmer’s ideas. In our bodies epigenetics uses the DNA instructions (genes) to accomplish its goals. The environmental conditions are data that causes the epigenetics to meet nature’s goals.
- Our DNA is like a musical instrument and epigenetics is like the musician. The sheet music is like our environment. A musician reads the music and uses his or her skills to play the instrument (hardware). In our bodies epigenetics uses environmental conditions to play our DNA. Just like some musicians may play well and others may play badly; our environment causes our epigenetics to either play well or poorly.
How can we tell what changes are good or bad for us?