Maurizio – Omnologos

Where no subject is left unturned

Epigenetics: The Next Big Thing in Science

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Familiarize yourself with this word: Epigenetics

It basically says you’re not just the product of your genes. Or even of your genes and your environment

Your mother may have cuddled you early on out of trouble (on deep into it) for the rest of your life (as reported on The Economist  [subscription may be necessary])

Theoretically, your great-grandmother (or much less likely, great-grandfather) may have been exposed to something that slightly changed their cells’ environment, and you are now paying the consequences…even without any changes to your genes

But that is nothing compared to the possibilities that may open if epigenetics is well understood. We could soon get tumors switched off with a relatively simple cellular-level intervention, rather than cumbersome DNA modifications

And by simply changing a few chemicals in a just-fertilized human egg, we will be able to program a genius as the identical twin of a fool

Written by omnologos

2006/Sep/25 at 00:37:03

2 Responses

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  1. […] Ms Judson hypothesizes two solutions to this riddle. Either “huge numbers of genes affect most traits” or “variants of a few genes do have a substantial effect but they are too rare to have been discovered yet“. But there is another much more plausible solution, via the science of Epigenetics. […]

  2. […] Ms Judson hypothesizes two solutions to this riddle. Either “huge numbers of genes affect most traits” or “variants of a few genes do have a substantial effect but they are too rare to have been discovered yet“. But there is another much more plausible solution, via the science of Epigenetics. […]


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