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Epigenetics- An exciting development in Science


james5001

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Oct 27, 2009
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Epigenetics refers to "heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the nucleotide sequence''1 (ie no change in the code of a person's DNA). It basically refers to chemical signals or switches that dampen down or increase expressivity of certain genes, leading to a change in phenotype (physical expression). It is becoming clear that environmental factors (ie what we eat and what we are exposed to) can silence or heighten these gene expressions and therefore could predispose some people to developing certain diseases.

Now this may seem boring and you're probably saying ''So what?'', but recent studies have shown that this epigenetic change in individuals can be passed down generations.

A study in Sweden has shown that if you are a male and your paternal grandfather (your father's father) lived through a famine period during his Slow Growth Period (before puberty- around 9-12 for boys) you are more likely to live longer than those who had plentiful supplies of food during this period, protecting the grandson from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

If the paternal grandfather had a plentiful supply of food during this period, the grandson has a 4 fold greater chance of dying of diabetes mellitus.

It is becoming clear that we are what we eat, but in some instances, we are what our grandparents ate.


1 Bird A : Perceptions of epigenetics. Nature 2007

Cardiovascular and diabetes mortality determined by nutrition during parents' and grandparents' slow growth period

See the ''Ghost in our genes'' programme for more information
 

Nemesiscorporation

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Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
14,214
Epigenetics refers to "heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the nucleotide sequence''1 (ie no change in the code of a person's DNA). It basically refers to chemical signals or switches that dampen down or increase expressivity of certain genes, leading to a change in phenotype (physical expression). It is becoming clear that environmental factors (ie what we eat and what we are exposed to) can silence or heighten these gene expressions and therefore could predispose some people to developing certain diseases.

Now this may seem boring and you're probably saying ''So what?'', but recent studies have shown that this epigenetic change in individuals can be passed down generations.

A study in Sweden has shown that if you are a male and your paternal grandfather (your father's father) lived through a famine period during his Slow Growth Period (before puberty- around 9-12 for boys) you are more likely to live longer than those who had plentiful supplies of food during this period, protecting the grandson from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

If the paternal grandfather had a plentiful supply of food during this period, the grandson has a 4 fold greater chance of dying of diabetes mellitus.

It is becoming clear that we are what we eat, but in some instances, we are what our grandparents ate.


1 Bird A : Perceptions of epigenetics. Nature 2007

Cardiovascular and diabetes mortality determined by nutrition during parents' and grandparents' slow growth period

See the ''Ghost in our genes'' programme for more information
Epigenetics has been around for a while.

Have written various software over the last few years for mathematically modelling it. Have just written and sent off a program for using a massive CUBA based system for modelling a particular sequence. Think I will skip working for that bunch again. They are really annoying to work for and just not worth the hassle.

It is a growing area. Plenty of start up money.
 

james5001

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Oct 27, 2009
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Epigenetics has been around for a while.

Have written various software over the last few years for mathematically modelling it. Have just written and sent off a program for using a massive CUBA based system for modelling a particular sequence. Think I will skip working for that bunch again. They are really annoying to work for and just not worth the hassle.

It is a growing area. Plenty of start up money.
Relatively speaking, it's fairly recent.
 

Nemesiscorporation

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Relatively speaking, it's fairly recent.
Not for me.

The way programming moves these days, anything more than six months old is middle aged. It is moving faster than integrated circuit design.

In all areas of Genetics, the pace of change is very rapid. I used to subscribe to Nature Genetics, but it reached the point, I was just getting lost.

When I get back home I will be taking out a new subscription to Nature. Might renew my subscriptions to Nature Genetics and Nature Materials. I want to get a sample of Nature photonics before I make up my mind. Have to wait until I get home before I decide what to do.

PS: Check out this article.
http://www.nature.com/news/neuroprosthetics-once-more-with-feeling-1.12938
That is what I love to read about, then go see a Star Trek film :)

Also articles such as this http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7448/full/nature12082.html remind me of when I was young and read Clarke, Azimov, Dick, etc. I can actually see how parts of what was science fiction could fucntion with a massive ram scoop in articles like that.

I suppose I never really grew up and am curious about everything.
 

james5001

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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
Not for me.

The way programming moves these days, anything more than six months old is middle aged. It is moving faster than integrated circuit design.

In all areas of Genetics, the pace of change is very rapid. I used to subscribe to Nature Genetics, but it reached the point, I was just getting lost.

When I get back home I will be taking out a new subscription to Nature. Might renew my subscriptions to Nature Genetics and Nature Materials. I want to get a sample of Nature photonics before I make up my mind. Have to wait until I get home before I decide what to do.
Do you know of any websites or companies that will map your genes for you, specifically the Y chromosome, for genealogy? Was thinking of doing it but don't want to be spending a lot of money.
 

Nemesiscorporation

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Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
14,214
Do you know of any websites or companies that will map your genes for you, specifically the Y chromosome, for genealogy? Was thinking of doing it but don't want to be spending a lot of money.

Off the top of my head no. They tend to be companies well away from R&D.

From google.

Search for Autosomal DNA, Y-DNA, and mtDNA - DNA Ancestry Project
Family Tree DNA - Genetic Genealogy Starts Here
DNA Test for Ancestry from National Geographic | Genographic Project
Genetic genealogy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However please get them checked out as I have no idea about these companies.

If you go into a newsagent. Pick up any archeology or history magazine and flick through the advertisements at the back. If you see any geneology magazine, there should be advertisements for genetic testing in that. They usually carry advertisements for companies engaging in that area.
 

Niall996

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
12,142
Epigenetics refers to "heritable changes in gene function that occur without a change in the nucleotide sequence''1 (ie no change in the code of a person's DNA). It basically refers to chemical signals or switches that dampen down or increase expressivity of certain genes, leading to a change in phenotype (physical expression). It is becoming clear that environmental factors (ie what we eat and what we are exposed to) can silence or heighten these gene expressions and therefore could predispose some people to developing certain diseases.

Now this may seem boring and you're probably saying ''So what?'', but recent studies have shown that this epigenetic change in individuals can be passed down generations.

A study in Sweden has shown that if you are a male and your paternal grandfather (your father's father) lived through a famine period during his Slow Growth Period (before puberty- around 9-12 for boys) you are more likely to live longer than those who had plentiful supplies of food during this period, protecting the grandson from cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

If the paternal grandfather had a plentiful supply of food during this period, the grandson has a 4 fold greater chance of dying of diabetes mellitus.

It is becoming clear that we are what we eat, but in some instances, we are what our grandparents ate.


1 Bird A : Perceptions of epigenetics. Nature 2007

Cardiovascular and diabetes mortality determined by nutrition during parents' and grandparents' slow growth period

See the ''Ghost in our genes'' programme for more information
Or as someone once said to me, 'we are what we eat, ate."
 

googolplex

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Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
676
Do you know of any websites or companies that will map your genes for you, specifically the Y chromosome, for genealogy? Was thinking of doing it but don't want to be spending a lot of money.
Depends on what your looking for. If your looking for it in relation to your own health, there are companies which will give you a basic idea of your suseptibility to certain conditions for a couple of hundred euros. If it's just in relation to geneology then it is more expensive. It is much more affordable these days though, due to the fact that the basic equipment can now be purchased for a few grand, and genetic databases are more accessable.
 

james5001

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Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
Depends on what your looking for. If your looking for it in relation to your own health, there are companies which will give you a basic idea of your suseptibility to certain conditions for a couple of hundred euros. If it's just in relation to geneology then it is more expensive. It is much more affordable these days though, due to the fact that the basic equipment can now be purchased for a few grand, and genetic databases are more accessable.
Have you ever done it in relation to genealogy, or do you know anyone else that has done it?
 

Mitsui2

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Nov 13, 2009
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33,382
It is becoming clear that we are what we eat, but in some instances, we are what our grandparents ate.
That's a definte zinger, James!

Only trouble is, in my case it suggests that I'm largely composed of pigs' feet and porter!

:)
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Mar 15, 2011
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Epigenetics - perhaps Lamarck was not so wrong after all?
 

googolplex

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Mar 9, 2013
Messages
676
Have you ever done it in relation to genealogy, or do you know anyone else that has done it?
No, not in relation to genealogy, but in relation to a novel medical condition, this was a number of years ago when the technique was quite new. Now it is common place. There is no problem with tracing your lineage on the Y chromosome, but you need to be specific with regard to what you want. Do you just want to trace your male ancestry, or have you a specific reason which may be related to both x and y.
 

james5001

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2009
Messages
11,503
No, not in relation to genealogy, but in relation to a novel medical condition, this was a number of years ago when the technique was quite new. Now it is common place. There is no problem with tracing your lineage on the Y chromosome, but you need to be specific with regard to what you want. Do you just want to trace your male ancestry, or have you a specific reason which may be related to both x and y.
I want to check my male ancestry and their migratory pattern.
 
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