Epigenetic’s Science is written by award winning writer, Raoul Pedretta. Good bye, genetically encoded genes… the first book in the exciting new field of epigenetic biology for general readers. The surging new science of epigenetic genetics offers a veritable cornucopia of new insights into our own bodies and minds – some unsettling, some reassuring. The assumption of Epigenetic’s Science is the fact that environmental exposures can have long lasting effects on cellular function. Some of these effects aren’t so easy to reverse and the authors describe how”epigenetic inheritance” can result in such illnesses as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. They also clarify the surprising effect of”epigenetic pollution,” environmental contaminants that aren’t detected by regular testing and that could cause severe health problems.
Like all living systems, cells are constantly changing and grow, divide and die. All cells need a continuous supply of energy, and this process is initiated by a process called”mimetic induction”. Through natural selection, positive mutations accumulate over generations, and if they get together, these cells form a type of cellular memory, or methylation state. This methylation state is passed between generations and determines how cells in one family will behave in response to environmental challenges and how those cells will respond when similar challenges arise in a different family member.
When methylation is induced in a cell, the result may be a whole gamut of changes on the cell surface and in the biochemical pathways inside the cell. This results in alterations in gene function and a corresponding reaction on the body. There are a number of ways in which Epigenetic’s Science presents the science of Epigenetics. For instance, each chapter includes an informative section addressing one of the most common Epigenetic changes which occur in all people: puberty. The chapters comprise;”Growthal Sensitivity,””Mutations in Birth,”” hormonal changes,””perinatal development,””adolescent-onset diabetes,” and”nutrition.” I enjoyed each of these and found them to be quite interesting and educational.
As you know, during adolescence, the body increases its production of estrogen (in anticipation of future pregnancy), and then, produces DHT (which stands for”dihydrotestosterone”). DHT subsequently binds to the hair follicles, making it difficult for nutrients to reach the roots. This causes baldness in men and a condition called”male pattern baldness” Interestingly, this isn’t the only cause of hair loss, as there are other genetic and environmental factors that contribute to hair loss. Epigenetic science goes a step further and suggests that these other causes of hair loss may also be influenced by methylation, so future study may shed even more light on Epigenetic’s Science.
The next topic that Epigenetic’s Science touches on is the impact that diet has on the body. In particular, Epigenetic’s Science goes into detail concerning the effect that diet has on mice, worms, and other organisms. To begin with, one interesting finding was that when the worm C. elegans has been given a high fat diet, it became obese and diabetic. Interestingly, the lab animals also lost muscle mass, which is suggestive of insulin resistance. In another experiment, the lab animals were put on a particular sort of diet where they only received food which contained carbohydrates; they lost body fat fairly quickly.
In order to understand what’s happening here, you have to take a look at the Epigenetic’s Science methodology. Basically, they’re growing yeast in laboratory cultures and watching what happens. When the yeast grows to a certain point, it is going to replicate and thus create a new generation of yeast cells. In cases like this, the generation of cells has been used to study insulin resistance, something that we humans have.
Needless to say, there are additional Epigenetic’s Science techniques they use, including gene regulation and the study of cancerous tumors. In actuality, they’ve recently established a successful clinical trial in which they are attempting to treat Alzheimer’s disease in mice. As exciting as that may seem, it is not your everyday normal cancer treatment. This study shows they are able to control and regulate cells and halt the growth of cancerous tumors.
Besides diabetes, Epigenetic’s Science may be used for other kinds of diseases and conditions, such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and even cancer. Needless to say, these studies are extremely small so we don’t have much of a sense of what they will mean for human health. Still, it’s an exciting and very promising prospect. Just think, one day you could have the ability to grow your own cells for immune system support and energy generation; essentially creating your very own drug factory!