The Science of Epigenetics

Introduction

Epigenetics refers to the study of factors that ensures that every gene within an organism is given an opportunity to do its work. For example, human organs have the same genes. It is epigenetics that ensures that each and every one of the bodies performs its designated function. These factors within the gene expression are heritable (Epigenetics, 2007). The DNA sequence is however not affected in any way.

Epigenetics video

The video is about a study on a type of mice with a particular color known as agouti (Epigenetics, 2007). The color occurs due to the yellowing of its hair which would otherwise be black. The agouti occurs due to the production of a substance known as phaeomelanin instead of eumelanin that produces the brown color of the wild type of mice (Epigenetics, 2007). The mutation causes the loss of this effect in black mice. The jumping genes caused by mutation commonly occur in mammals. However, most of these genes are usually reduced by a process known as methylation. A mother’s diet could have some effect on her offspring; this explains their coat color (Epigenetics, 2007).

Article on epigenetics

According to Tomkins (2013), Epigenetics is an area of study that is expanding faster than expected in the field of research. While studying epigenetics, scientists analyze the modified DNAs with changed chemistry. They do not concentrate on the actual base pair making up the DNA sequence. It is similar to imposing a separate code of control and system into the standard DNA sequence code (Tomkins, 2013).

There are two ways through which the Deoxyribonucleic acid of an organism can be modified chemically (Tomkins, 2013). The primary includes the expansion of methyl gatherings to the Deoxyribonucleic acid base particles while the second involves the alteration of proteins known as histones incorporating with the Deoxyribonucleic acid. Every one of these changes focuses on the way in which a Deoxyribonucleic acid is open to proteins that are healthy to tie the Deoxyribonucleic acid, thus controlling and helping direct the movement of the quality. The genome majorly controls Deoxyribonucleic acid modification through epigenetic (Tomkins, 2013). It is what determines how we express different gene types. In fact, quite many diseases that humans suffer are a result of epigenetics (Tomkins, 2013).

Most research has been done to contrast chimpanzees hereditarily with the individual with the outlook that chimpanzees are the nearest living relatives of people. In any case, numerous reports demonstrate that there is a limitless distinction between the quality articulation of people and that of the chimps for the various qualities that are shared by both species. These include the genes associated with brain activity (Tomkins, 2013).

Tomkins (2013) states that highly advanced technologies have been used by researchers to compare the differences that humans and chimpanzees have in the regions where they have a common genome. Tomkins (2013), states that the reason behind this is because epigenetic modification of the genome of an organism is related to its gene expression. In light of this fact, numerous studies have shown that there are numerous dramatic differences between human beings and chimpanzees regarding the methylation side of epigenetics. It is essential to note that the epigenome is tissue particular when considering such research. Therefore, the pattern will vary depending on the cell type that is being studied (Tomkins, 2013).

Researchers conducted a 2011 study on purged platelets from living people, Orangutans, and Chimps. The platelets were selected for the study because they have a near similarity in their characteristics and appearance in more than 1,500 various regions of the genome belonging to humans when compared to the genome of a chimpanzee. There was also some uniqueness from humans in the orangutans and chimps in their epigenome data clustering (Tomkins, 2013).

Scientists have utilized profoundly propelled advances to think about the distinctions that people and chimpanzees have in the areas where they have a typical genome. It indicates that these heritable differences are permanent. A 2012 research utilized profoundly precise systems to study methylation of Deoxyribonucleic acid in the qualities of the mind shared by both chimps and people. It demonstrated broad contrasts between the chimps and individuals (Tomkins, 2013).

As per this study, the kind of cerebrum qualities examined could just endure extremely insignificant epigenetic alteration outside the typical human mind profile. Furthermore, severe disease can only cause abnormal human brain gene methylation in the neurons. These studies indicate that it is not possible for methylation changes to occur in the genes found in the brain; as a result, it not possible that evolution existed in primates (Tomkins, 2013).

Family history-Dr. Oz

Knowing one’s family history is crucial. It enables an individual to understand his/her origin. Family history also helps us know whether we may be at risk of contracting a particular hereditary illness or not (Family Health History Worksheet, 2011). After completing the family history exercise, I found out that diabetes and hypertension are quite significant in my family. My paternal grandfather contracted diabetes and hypertension. He died as a result of the illness. My father also suffers from diabetes and hypertension. Since my DNA contains both genes from my grandfather and those of my dad, I am at high risk of contracting any of these diseases because they are hereditary. However, by eating right and adopting a total life change, I can reduce the development of these diseases in my life; this is where epigenetics comes in (Family Health History Worksheet, 2011).

Blue zone Life expectancy questionnaire

The blue area survey revealed that my biological age is two years younger than my real age due to the kind of life I have lived so far. As per the findings, I am expected to live up to the age of 85.8 years, and 73.2 of those years should be free of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Due to my life habits, I have accrued 5.1 years of my life. If I could optimize my lifestyle, I could add 12.7 years more (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

The life expectancy questionnaire has recommended that I should pay more attention to my emotions. It would enable me to gain 195 days more. Improving my attitude would add another 195 days while doing regular exercise would give me an additional 183 days (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

The research recognized that I am a bit anxious. I was advised to learn to identify the symptoms of anxiety and look for ways to relax and work to overcome fear. If I do this successfully, I will get additional 146 days (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

I indicated that I’m not quite involved in any group activity. Therefore, it was suggested that I should be friendlier and engage in group activities since friendship may lead to a longer life. Doing this would gain me an extra 122 days (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

Eating whole grains plays a part in preventing the development of diabetes type 2. It would give me an additional 122 days. Eating fish, cutting on salt, eating more fruits and vegetables would add 97 more days each to my life. By having a little more faith, 36 days would be added to my life while sleeping well, and eating dairy products would add 24 days each to my life. The research stated that milk products help with the supply of minerals and vitamins that are essential for growth and development (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

Conclusion

For me to improve my health and vitality, I’ll need to change my thoughts and beliefs as well as eating habits. Researchers have discovered that the expression of our genes changes due to environmental factors like nutrients. Besides, our emotions, conscious thoughts, and unconscious beliefs also play a role in changing genes. It demonstrates that the human body is not controlled by a hereditary cosmetic, but rather by operational and non-operational qualities. Our attitude, thoughts, as well as perceptions, determine these conditions. Therefore, by eating the correct types of foods, changing how I think and believe could go a long way to ensuring that I improve my health and longevity (Vitality Compass, p. 2).

References

Epigenetics.(2007). Web.

Family Health History Worksheet.(2011). Web.

Tomkins, J.(2013). Epigenetics Proves Humans and Chimps Are Different. Acts & Facts. 42(1):11-12. Web.

Vitality Compass.(n.d.). Web.

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