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Genetics vs Epigenetics smackdown!

Discussion in 'The New Monster Thread' started by jeanie@truelongmont.com, May 22, 2012.

  1. I would love to see some of the geeks on here go to town on genetics and epigenetics. I think my understanding is a little off.

    What is your understanding of it. Feel free to expand on those thoughts. And, how about - if you drop a link to something, give your summary too?
  2. AKMan

    AKMan New Member

    I don't think you are being ignored, this question made my head explode. I've done so much critical thinking the last few weeks, I can't take on another, today. First I have to solve the evolution vs God conundrum, then get a handle on Factor X (I think I know what it is), then I have to define 'cold adapted'. After that I will answer your question...

    You guys are awesome!
  3. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    Simple.......think identical twins. They have identical DNA and a genome. Why do they not have an identical life as they live it out? Their DNA does not change but the way it is expressed however does because of the envirnoment they are in.
  4. indigogirl

    indigogirl Silver

    Beautiful explanation!

    My husband is an identical twin and I've always wondered about their differences.

  5. Ok, Chocolate and Akman, time to drop some twin study research on me!

    You may call me bossy.
  6. MJ*

    MJ* New Member

    LOL all good problems to have...
  7. AKMan

    AKMan New Member

    I finally gave this a little thought, and here's what I think: The regulation of gene expression plays a pivotal role in complex phenotypes, and epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are essential to this process. The availability of next-generation sequencing technologies allows us to study epigenetic variation at an unprecedented level of resolution. Even so, our understanding of the underlying sources of epigenetic variability remains limited. Twin studies have played an essential role in estimating phenotypic heritability, and these now offer an opportunity to study epigenetic variation as a dynamic quantitative trait. High monozygotic twin discordance rates for common diseases suggest that unexplained environmental or epigenetic factors could be involved. Recent genome-wide epigenetic studies in disease-discordant monozygotic twins emphasize the power of this design to successfully identify epigenetic changes associated with complex traits. We describe how large-scale epigenetic studies of twins can improve our understanding of how genetic, environmental and stochastic factors impact upon epigenetics, and how such studies can provide a comprehensive understanding of how epigenetic variation affects complex traits.

    Just kidding--that is the abstract of this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3063335/?tool=pmcentrez

    This is truly a mind-blowing field involving lots of chemistry. I know arguments about evolution usually include "how come if I cut my leg off, my baby isn't born with one leg missing?" Sounds stupid, but if the mother does something to harm her fetus, like smoke in the first trimester, the baby could be born with a missing or deformed limb and that child could go on to pass that trait to it's offspring.

    The underlying theme in epigenetics is DNA methylation--whatever the hell that means. This is truly heady stuff, but here's a study for you to look at!

  8. Thanks. DNA methylation is something I need to brush up on. Interestingly enough, I never seem to need it in real estate. My conversations with my working peers go in a very different direction than this. I'm a looking for twin studies. They say there is a high rate of discordant disease, but I was going on the assumption that there was a high rate of similarity. I am looking into this.

    I have a girlfriend just diagnosed with monozygotic twins! I wonder if she will let me influence one seperatly from the other so I can study what happens. It's probably good I didn't go into biology, I don't think I would pass the ethical muster.
  9. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    My husband had identical twins sisters. Freckled red haired beauties with heart shaped faces. One succombed to ms. One was diagnosed bipolar and overdosed on otc sleeping pills. They had a red haired even more beautiful grandma that died of breast cancer under thirty years of age. I think there was some psychosis involved with all three. The redhaired even more beautiful grandma's dad had a ferry boat business and they were camped on a cold but not frozen lake baby making and running the business. He died of drowning. After his ferry boat sank, he was found off the end of the pier with rocks in his pocket. It took twenty years and a good drunk for that to come out. They were the bottle feeding type. I think they used goats milk and hired help. A lot gets lost in history sometimes. The family historian glossed over a lot. I think it was just becoming fashionable to use bottles. I fear my husband is going to turn up neanderthal. He has the blood type and the personality. Anything wrong with our genes are my hillbilly butt's fault though, according to his mother. The twin studies, though have similarities that Dr. Kruse identified and have me landed squarely here. Things that have a common thread, ms, mental illness, scoliosis, melanin, dopamine problems, all of them have me here. The circadian really got me. The red haired grandma married a telegrapher with the rail lines and they were everywhere, but ate like kings (not circadian) and someone was on the machine all the time. My husband's mom could still tap out morse code after she hadn't thought about it in years, and she was less than twelve when her mom died. These were very intelligent people. And skilled artists. So here I am, this is the first place to help connect the dots.

  10. I've always heard red heads are crazy.
  11. chocolate

    chocolate Silver

    Its the neanderthal.... the smartest, most creative, loftiest thinking and the fieriest and most forgiving. That dopamine receptor issue swings both ways. Red hair rocks. I haven't got the slightest touch. Both my kids have strands and they look so nice in the sun.
  12. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    All methylation comes from the diet.....B12, B1, B5, B6, etc.....the other factor is acetylation......guess where that comes from Acetyl-CoA from fat metabolism.......This affect chromatin which binds DNA up into clumps. This dictates which part of the DNA is translated and expressed.
  13. Jim

    Jim New Member

    For a great non-technical introduction to epigenetics check out The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. He's got his own website and another book called Spontaneous Evolution which I will obviously have to read.

    Here is an excerpt from the book over view.

  14. AKMan

    AKMan New Member

    I guess the real questions for me concerning epigenetics are:

    - How much is in my immediate control, ie. I eat right=I don't get cancer

    - How much is out of my control, ie. Mom ate wrong=I get cancer

    - Since I'm not planning on producing any new progeny, are my concerns the same as someone who wants to start a family?
  15. Jack Kruse

    Jack Kruse Administrator

    My belief is you have about 90% control......10% is due to transgenerational effects that your mom and dad have to fix for you 0-6......most do not.
  16. KiwiLauren

    KiwiLauren Gold

    A question about this. When I listened to Tim Jackson on Sean Croxton's show he mentioned that the methylation pathway for folic acid is directly effected by breastfeeding and said that babies need to be breastfed for about a year for that pathway to work properly. What do you think?

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