Re: Genes and DNA
- Some others ...
Identical twins are not quite as identical as once thought, according to a new study of DNA.
Life, it seems, changes everyone in unique ways.
One twin might get cancer while the the other is not susceptible, for example. Many identical twins clearly behave differently as they grow older, and some even grow to look less alike.
Such differences have to do not with the twins' identical DNA, which is the software of life, but in how genes express themselves, the research found. The differences stem from chemical modifications in the genes over the years.
These epigenetic effects, as they are called, are the result of chemical exposure, dietary habits and other environmental factors, the scientists believe. [...]
Gene expression and behavior is altered by a process called methylation. Scientists think a better understanding of methylation could aid cancer research.
"One would expect identical twins to develop and express genes at the same levels, but in fact this changes over time," Plass said. "We think that methylation plays a genome-wide role in these changes."
Increasing evidence is revealing a role of methylation in the interaction of environmental factors with genetic expression. Differences in maternal care during the first 6 days of life in the rat induce differential methylation patterns in some promoter regions, thus influencing gene expression. Furthermore, even-more-dynamic processes such as interleukin signaling have been shown to be regulated by methylation.
Research in humans has shown that repeated high level activation of the body's stress system, especially in early childhood, can alter methylation processes and lead to changes in the chemistry of the individual's DNA. The chemical changes can disable genes and prevent the brain from properly regulating its response to stress. Researchers and clinicians have drawn a link between this neurochemical disregulation and the development of chronic health problems such as depression, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease. 
How much control do you really have over facial aging?
A new study of identical twins shows that life experiences and environmental factors have a big effect on how fast or slowly our faces age. Researchers recruited nearly 200 sets of identical twins who were attending the annual twin festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Twin research is especially useful in the study of aging because twins are "genetically programmed'' to age the same way, said study author Dr. Bahman Guyuron, chairman of the department of plastic surgery at the University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University. As a result, any perceived differences in appearance among twins can give clues as to what environmental and lifestyle factors can strongly influence aging, he said. [... .]
I suspect it is not only genes that determine behavior traits, but life and environmental factors too. Adaptability and mutation are a part of evolution wherein life forms struggle to survive. If everything were determined by genes there probably wouldn't be so many species. Life forms would never evolve to higher stages. What history shows is that life forms have ultimately been able to surpass genetic disposition according to life choices and FREE WILL in spite of genetic disposition.
Where was Harold K. going with his own article that mentioned genes I am still not certain. Unless it were to show that karma and genes are not the final determinants in a person's life. On that I agree. One could argue, however, whether "Mahanta" is the only answer; when it (the word Mahanta) can be such a "loaded" term.
Maybe there is something though, something like a "Higher Self" able to exercise supernatural powers ... available to every individual regardless their religious affiliation, or membership dues?
--- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "etznab18" wrote:
> Some excerpts for consideration (Not saying I subscribe, or believe, all that was mentioned on the following page).
> "One can simply use words and sentences of the human language! This, too, was experimentally proven! Living DNA substance (in living tissue, not in vitro) will always react to language-modulated laser rays and even to radio waves, if the proper frequencies are being used."
> "Esoteric and spiritual teachers have known for ages that our body is programmable by language, words and thought."
> Some other topic-related articles.
> "Eastern philosophy guru Deepak Chopra says he has one way to reform our sorry state of health care: by reconnecting with our spiritual side. [....] In a phone interview, Chopra said that what we think and how we feel physically change our brains and bodies. He pointed to research on neuropeptides, which are protein-like molocules used by brain cells to communicate information to one another.
> "Thinking a thought or feeling an emotion, he said, causes a synapse to fire neuropeptides not just to other brain cells, but to cells throughout the body including the immune system. Once a cell receives a neuropeptide, he added, its information changes that cell down to the genetic level.
> " 'Now we're starting to see that how you behave, how you think, your personal relationships, social interactions, environment, diet, stress levels, they all modulate the activities of your genes,' he said. 'So what you think can change your genes and the structure of your brain.' [....] Chopra is a medically trained endocrinologist and former chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital during the 1970s. He said he quit traditional medicine because 'we were acting like legalized drug pushers and prolonging suffering.' [....]"
> [Based on: Article (Eastern philosopher stresses the biology of happiness / Deepak Chopra says what we think and how we feel physically change our brains and bodies.) by Cynthia Billhartz Gregorian, pp. B1 & B3, S.L.P.D., 10/15/09]
> "Researchers from ETH Zurich have fitted human cells with a synthetic signaling cascade that can be used to switch on and regulate genes via blue light. [....] The calcium inside the cell activates an enzyme that separates the phosphate group (P) from the protein NFAT-P. NFAT thus enters the cell nucleus, where it binds to a synthetic control sequence and switches on the target gene the researchers have introduced. The gene becomes active and the cell produces numerous copies of the protein, for which the gene is the blueprint. By controlling the amount of light and its intensity, the researchers can also regulate how much of the protein is produced. Switching the gene off is easy: light off, gene off. After all, without light melanopsin is no longer stimulated, no more calcium accumulates in the cells and the signal cascade is interrupted. [....]" [Based on: ScienceDaily article (Genes at the Flick of a Light Switch: Human Cells Fitted With Synthetic Signaling Cascade), June 22, 2011]
> "Autism is not caused by one or two major gene defects but by hundreds of small genetic mutations, many of which are no inherited but arise spontaneously, according to research published Wednesday [06/08/11]. In three studies appearing in the journal Neuron, researchers paint the disorder that affects one in 110 U.S. children as a complete puzzle of genetic miscues that causes dysfunction in the brain's synapses - critical junctions between nerve cells. [....]" [Based on: Article (Study paints autism as a genetic puzzle), p. A12, S.L.P.D., 06/09/11]
> Besides the above there are environmental factors which can influence a person's genes. Including radiations, genetically modified plants and animals, etc.