1. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Ghost In Your Genes

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jazzabel, Jul 10, 2014.

    Epigenetics is a very interesting phenomenon, by which our present environment affects gene expression in not only ourselves, but in future generations. The implications are huge, the process very real, but I find it's not something general public is aware of very much. This is a good documentary on it, if you are interested in the topic, have a look :)

     
  2. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I would think that the whole epigenetics trumps predisposition thing would be more widely known by now. Well, I think most people already have an idea of it on some level, but they just do not know about the little details involved in it.
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm really glad if that is so @Nilfiry . I thought this documentary made the whole discussion accessible, in a way that by the end of it a layperson can have a better idea than just reading an odd news article, they are usually incomplete and often get things wrong, so they tend to confuse more than explain.

    At about 28 minutes it becomes really interesting, basically discussing the connection of stress influencing epigenetics in the third generation, which is relevant in terms of generational PTSD we see in some communities that are exposed to war and disaster. Also I find interesting the implication of famine and the propensity to gain weight more easily in future generations, because the baby might've been born prepared to cope with famine better, which if there is no famine, may translate into obesity. It might even have an impact on the 'obesity epidemic' we are seeing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  4. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I certainly don't understand genetics as such, but I find this very interesting, especially the possibility of aversions to certain things passing on to the next generation. I'm wondering if that has already affected e.g. children in Israel or Palestine, since they've been at war forever.
     
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  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @KaTrian : I know, the implications are very interesting, and a total paradigm shift in terms of sociology of it all. I think we've been conditioned to think very strongly in terms of the nurture being the primary influence in social interaction and personal preferences of all kinds, just like we've come to view pathogens and even trauma (to a degree) as independent and external causes of disease. However, it's been shown that genetics determine the way bodies react to environmental stimuli, including stress, pathogens, injury, famine, pollution etc, and are in fact the decisive factor in what kind of response the body will get. So it would make sense these almost instinctive, discriminatory attitudes, even the entire 'collective unconscious' that Jung was talking about, is influenced by the genetics.
     
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