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A Primer on Epigenetics – Part 1

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Cover of Not in our Genes.

Cover of Not in our Genes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A funny but scientific video on what epigenetics is.  If you are a reader of my BLOG you know what epigenetics is and how it affects our genes and our lives & health. What Makes us who we are? – We are not determined by our genes but by how our epigenes work on our genes. The question of who we are is really which genes have we turned ON or OFF during our lives. Some of these switches are great and necessary for life but some are due to changes in our external (environment) life like diet, belief, thinking and stress.

If you are someone that thinks bad things will happen to you, they probably will. If you also believe you will get sick, live a stressful life and eat wrong, you will have a very high probability of being ill. If on the other hand you are a vegan, have little or no stress, are a positive believer and believe you will not get sick, you probably will live a healthy life.

 

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Is Technology our Evolutionary Legacy?

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PhotonQ-Homer' s Evolution Theory

Image by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE via Flickr

We are the only creatures that have managed to build technology, at least on this planet. We are building more and more sophisticated computers. Most scientists believe its only time until we build a computer with real intelligence. Will it have self-awareness? Maybe we are just following an evolutionary plan that started with DNA, evolved into epigenetics, created a brain and now has created technology that may be able to think. If this happens they may be as different from us as chimps are from us. One thing is for sure, epigenetics is a powerful tool and we should learn to use it to stay healthy and elliminate diseases. That also may be our destiny.

DNAs Genius is in its Details

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Microsoft Windows Updates

Image by adria.richards via Flickr

Scientists have often wondered how DNA organized into only 30,000 to 40,000 genes (programs) could build something as complex as humans. It does seem strange at first sight but we have a man-made example that is very similar … computers! A typical computer contains around 100 to 200 instructions. These are mathematical, logical, moves and compares. How do these simple instructions get put together to form Windows, a photo editing software, movie editing software, games, etc. It seems hard to believe. Yet programmers constantly rearrange these instructions into new programs that do an endless number of tasks to help and amuse us. DNA is no different. Those 30,000 to 40,000 genes can be played (turned ON/OFF) in an endless number of ways to create different forms of life and to adapt to natures changing ways. We are adapting ever second of every day of our lives. Consider that most mammals have basically the same DNA as we do. They look and act very different from us. It is not what DNA you have but how you play it!