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Epigenetics Velocity

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Epigenetics

Epigenetics (Photo credit: AJC1)

My background was physics. In physics we know that distance over time is velocity or speed. A relatively new area of biology is looking at epigenetics over time. Epigenetics is far more complex than genetics and it is changing over time. A current belief is that illnesses may be caused by long-term patterns in epigenetic changes. Researchers are using Guthrie Cards to sample an individual’s blood at birth and then several times during their lives. These samples will show not only genetics (which is stable) but epigenetics (which is changing). They can look at long-term change patterns and how they relate to diseases. We know a lot about genes that are associated with particular illnesses. By looking at how the epigenetics associated with these genes change over time we can find patterns in the epigenetics. The real problem starts here, we now have to associate environmental changes with the epigenetic changes to determine which parts of our environment is causing which illnesses.

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Epigenetics and Physiologic and Pathologic Processes

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English: Logo of the United States National Ce...

English: Logo of the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information, a part of the National Library of Medicine, itself part of the National Institutes of Health. Français : Logo du NCBI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says Nutrients are very linked to epigenetic switches which can change our health to a better or worse state. These epigenetic changes can affect physiologic and pathologic processes, including embryonic development, aging, and carcinogenesis. Nutrients in healthy food is not something our bodies occasionally require, it’s something that is needed every day to keep us healthy and strong both in body and mind.

Deleterious Epigenetic Programming

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English: Logo of the United States National Ce...

English: Logo of the United States National Center for Biotechnology Information, a part of the National Library of Medicine, itself part of the National Institutes of Health. Français : Logo du NCBI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) says many pathogens are not caused only by genetic alterations but as a result of the environment reprogramming our DNA. This re programming can have positive or negative side effects. Our bodies are trying to adapt to a changing environment. Deleterious epigenetic programming is epigenetic changes that are not beneficial to us like those that cause chronic illnesses. This reminds me of my days as a programmer. Bad data can sometimes be caught and raise an error but other times it causes the program to crash (death). Programs try to deal with what ever is thrown at them but sometimes they can’t handle it.