Showing posts with the label Epigenetics

Genes don't call all the shots, your environment does to.

The usage of the terms such as ' DNA ' and ' genes ' has exploded in recent years and is  commonly used to denote characteristics and traits in people, features of products and even as lyrics for a song . The theory of genetics that genes assign traits to individuals has been rooted so deeply into our psyche, that we fail to see the other side of the story completely. The role of the environment in shaping how our genes function is a fact that is unheard by many people and is something I would like to shed a little light on in this post. The public understanding about genetics is more or less like the way people follow astrology . If the newspaper predicts that the day at work will not go well, we tend to blame the stars/ sun sign for everything that goes wrong that day. Similarly, the presumption that genes control the way we function and act, has set the tone for genes to be solely in control of everything that is happening inside our cells. However, this i

Eat spinach and keep Cancer at bay!

 Spinach (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Yes you heard it right, scientist believe that eating spinach can actually reduce the risk of getting colon tumours from 58% to 32%. For all those from the old school of genetics may say that this may not be true, as variations at the genetic level can actually make a person prone to cancer , and offset the occurrence of it as well. But the world of oncogenetics just got more complicated. Scientists believe that though this may be true, there are other factors involved in the development of cancer and tumours. There has been, over the recent years, a keen interest in the role of epigenetics (factors out of genetics), such as diet, environmental toxins , lifestyle etc. which may be playing a role in diseases. One such key epigenetic factor, which has baffled scientists are micro RNA . No one till date has put a finger on what role these tiny fragments of RNA have, except for expressing and silencing genetic codes. The best part,