Same but not the same – the role of Epigenetics
Two people with the same genes can be different. Scientists attribute this to nature (genes) and nurture (lifestyle & environment). A third force affecting overall welfare, a bridge between nature and nurture, is epigenetics.
DNA methylation (a methyl group attaches to the cytosine base of DNA) weakens a gene, transcription cannot occur.
Epigenetics are heritable changes in gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. Chemical reactions due to environmental exposures influence how genes are turned on or off (strengthened or weakened).
Discordant diseases in identical twins have different DNA methylation on certain genes.
Anxiety and calmness can be created by injecting or removing methyl groups with drugs. Epigenetic medicines could correct or reverse disorders.
Questions to Consder
- How does epigenetics affect transcription and translation?
Methyl group attachment prevents transcription and the gene can not translate.
2. What lifestyle choices most likely negatively impact a person’s epigenetics?
Smoking dope may be fun
and more when you add beer.
Sex is even better
and those piercing look so dear.
Add a back tatoo,
and start to cut yourself.
Soon your twin won’t look the same,
and you’ll become an elf.
Possibly, another answer is:
If one twin trips to Chernobyl
and the other lips Liberia,
The methyl grips upon their genes
is worse than bland hysteria.
WHAT DID I LEARN?
A parent should allow nature and apply nurture but the environment always holds a trump card – and its blowin’ in the wind. Class mates and food takes can grab your tikes by the genes and never let go. It’s no wonder non-twins from the same parents with the more or less same nature and nurture grow up to become so different when you consider all of the environmental factors which are out of the parents control and growing, literally, out of control.