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A Dimmer Control that can Increase your Health!

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The University of Utah has a visual aide that allows you to adjust how your genes are wound tight or loosened up, thus adjusting how much protein they are making. Try turning the knob up and down and watch the resulting amount of protein being produced. This protein may be making red blood cells or new cell walls or communicating with other genes in the cell or other genes in other cells. The programming is complex but the principle is easy to understand. The control knob is like a dimmer switch on your light and the amount of protein is like how much light gets produced as you adjust the knob. Our health or illness is which combinations of genes are invoked by these proteins.

What are Your Cells Saying?

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The University of Utah has a video on how our epigenetics work. This video shows how factors from our environment can adjust which genes in our cells are active and which are inactive. This adjustment is our body’s way of trying to adjust to our environment. Genes being ON or OFF are neither good nor bad. The combination of genes and which genes are switched at what times is important. Having a gene that is associated with something bad doesn’t matter unless that gene becomes activated. Which genes are you activating or deactivating in your body?

Natures Own Bump App

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Anyone with a smart phone knows about the Bump App. It allows you to select a calendar event, contact or picture and bump with another Smartphone user to pass the information on. The University of Utah, in the same article as we spoke about yesterday, says that close by cells can shake and bump and cause information to be passed on to a neighbor. What are our cells passing along? What are they saying? If we could listen in and understand we would solve almost all illnesses. Maybe someday we will have experts that can listen to and understand our cells language of epigenetics. Then we can begin to live a healthy illness free life without drugs.

SHHH, Our Cells are Trying to Talk

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The University of Utah has an excellent description of how our cells communicate both within and between each other. This communication starts with a stem cell and causes each cell to modify itself into a type of cell (e.g. blood, skin, liver, heart). Once a cell becomes a type like our nervous system all later communication and changes are within the constraints of those already made. Nervous system cells don’t communicate like blood cells. Our heart cells don’t suddenly become a cuticle cell and start growing fingernails. These epigenetic switches become permanent and influence the remaining life of the cell and its ancestors. Other epigenetic chatter changes a cell dynamically and can be adjusted to react to environmental changes. Hormones get released by one part of the body and can influence cells in another part. This chatter makes us who we are. It causes us first to be mammals, then humans, and then a unique individual.

You + Your Environment = Your Health

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The University of Utah says that are environment causes our genes to be switched ON or OFF at critical times. This switching leads to most known diseases we suffer. The question is what is our environment? Most of us believe that toxins and smoking leads to these bad types of switches that can cause cancers. Does our environment include more? Yes it does! The University of Utah says: “The genome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet, behavior, toxins and other factors activate chemical switches that regulate gene expression.”

We are One with Our Environment

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Learn.Genetics at the University of Utah says each of our cells communicate with each other and change their processing based on signals they receive from the environment. These signals come in the form of diet, stress, behavior, and toxins. Yesterdays BLOG discussed how stress can cause our cells to focus on the stress even at the cost of our immune system. The environment is yelling at us and it causes us to change in response to it. How are you changing? What kind of memory are your cells storing? There can be no doubt now that these influences cause us to be healthy and happy or sick and depressed. Just like children turn out to be what their parents taught them, our cells turn out to be what the environment has taught them. Rules to live by: 1) Avoid toxins, 2) Lower stress levels, 3) Eat healthy foods, and 4) think positive and believe in yourself. These four rules will keep you healthy, strong and happy.

How Being a Parent or Grandparent Affects a Child’s Genetics

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Our reproductive system is made up of cells that also react to epigenetic changes. These changes can be reproduced in the female’s egg or males sperm and passed onto the next generation. When a female is pregnant, she has her own cells switching ON/OFF as well as the new fetus’ cells reacting to the same signals. It doesn’t stop here because the fetus has reproduction cells that will form the grandchildren that are also reacting to the epigenetic changes. See how this works at The University of Utah’s website.

What Type of Communications Can Our Cells Achieve?

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Our cells, through epigenetics, can send signals in our bodies that will throw ON/OFF gene switches in themselves, neighboring cells, distant cells. Neighboring cells can communicate via direct connect with each other like a handshake. Nearby cells can communicate by passing signals back and forth like throwing a ball in a game of catch. Some signals. Like stress, send out broadcasts like a radio or TV signal. These broadcasts affect large number of cells throughout the body. Stress signals the body to prepare for an event. Different cells do different things to prepare. The signal stops and things return to normal when the stressful event ends. Modern life can cause us to be in a stressful state constantly. Read more about this signaling at The University of Utah’s website.

Our Epigenome Learns

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As epigenetics change which genes are turned ON/OFF, it learns from previous decisions. Epigenetics can be controlled or influenced by the environment but it is also a part of who we are. Each type of cell in our bodies has the same DNA but their epigenetics is different. This allows different cells to do different tasks for the good of the body. If we look at a brain neuron, it starts life-like all cells as a Stem Cell. Epigenetics turns ON/OFF switches that tell the Stem Cell to become a nervous system cell. Now it is specialized and can become one of many parts of our nervous system. Let’s say that more epigenetic switches are thrown that causes this generic nervous system cell to become a spinal cord cell (more
specialization). Now switches are turned OFF to prevent the formation of Glial Cells, sometimes called neuroglia or simply glia. Glia cells cannot become neuron cells.  Later more switches are thrown that turn the spinal cord cell into a neuron cell. Neurons are highly specific and sophisticated cells in our brains. Now epigenetics throws more switches ON/OFF to cause the neuron cell to grow an axon. Axons are arms that can connect one neuron to others. Finally switches are thrown that tell the axon to connect to another axon. The University of Utah depicts this example on their website.

Epigenome

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We have spoken a lot about how our DNA has instructions  to build and maintain all life on Earth. It slowly changes over time through evolution. It also changes quicker via sex. Sex brings two different DNA and epigenetics together to form a new and unique life form. The Universe we live in is constantly changing. Earth has changed many times over its existence. As changes occur, we need to be able to adapt quickly or perish. Our epigenome is the pattern of epigenetic switches that are turned ON and OFF. Theses which enable or disable certain DNA genes. The combination is vast and very complex. It allows living creatures and plants to react to environmental changes that face them. These changes can be diet, stress, heat/cold, sun, toxins, etc. Basically we are trying to adopt to drastic changes so the species can continue. Sometimes our epigenetic changes cause illness or death and that part of the species stops existing. Other parts find combinations that work, they adopt and continue to produce new members of the species. Sometimes whole species die out like the dinosaurs and other times a species evolves into a different type of specie. Life goes on if it can find epigenetic and genetic changes that allow it to survive with a food source, stress levels and environmental changes. The University of Utah has an epigenetic primer that is worth studying,

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