Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The humble truth of genes (4)

Genes, environment, diet, lifestyle and many other factors
are ultimately equal.

We sees genes being more important or playing a bigger part in one's health,
because we have little manipulation over it.

But, we forgot that we still have a lot of capacity to toggle the parameters (for good health) from the other aspects.

4 years ago or so,
I attended a scientific conference,
where a lot of biology experts gather to
discuss about the relationship between genes and cancer/stem cells/aging.

One of the speakers talked about how genes had something else beyond controlling them.
This new field is now called the epigenetic studies,
where biologists study how the physical structure of chromosomes
regulate the expression of genes and eventually direct the translation of genetic codes.

Apparently, the physical structure of chromosomes (cf. chemical coding)
as the speaker spelled out, is often influenced by diet and lifestyle of a person.

Since the discovery of DNA by Watson and Crick half a century ago,
scientist have been fancying the idea of
how DNA commands the biological function of living things
and gradually get drifted into thinking that
DNA is the ultimate number-one-in-command for biological entities.

Now with the latest modern scientific evidence,
we know that DNA and environment actually interacts on an equal ground,
influencing each other, balancing each other to eventually settle in a dynamic equilibrium.

Hence, it's important that we do not get carried away by the mysterious portrait of DNA
and sink into the futile attempts of controlling DNA we are not meant to control.
Exactly, this is how big pharmaceutical companies
convince the general public and governments
to fork out huge money in support for finding cure for a disease at it's 'ultimate source' (ie DNA level)
which is not truly the ultimate source (because there isn't one)...

Knowing that diet, lifetsyle and environment can also interact and influence the operation of genes,
why not instead put in effort into fine tuning these factors which we have the capacity to control?

Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

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