Epigenetic’s Science is written by award winning author, Raoul Pedretta. Great 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 provides a veritable cornucopia of new insights into our own bodies and minds – some unsettling, some reassuring. The premise of Epigenetic’s Science is the fact that environmental exposures can have long lasting effects on cellular function. Some of these effects are not so easy to reverse and the authors describe how”epigenetic inheritance” can lead to such disorders as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. They also describe the surprising effect of”epigenetic pollution,” environmental contaminants that are not detected by standard testing and that could cause serious health issues.
Like all living systems, cells are constantly changing and grow, divide and die. All cells require a constant supply of energy, and this process is initiated by a process called”mimetic induction”. Through natural selection, favorable 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 on between generations and determines how cells in one family will act in response to environmental challenges and how those cells will respond when similar challenges arise in another 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 causes alterations in gene function and a corresponding reaction physically. 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 exist in all of us: puberty. The chapters comprise;”Growthal Sensitivity,””Mutations in Birth,”” hormonal changes,””perinatal development,””adolescent-onset diabetes,” and”nutrition.” I enjoyed each of them 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 in turn, 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 a condition known as”male pattern baldness.” Interestingly, this is not the only cause of hair loss, since 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 affected by methylation, so future study may shed more light on Epigenetic’s Science.
The next topic that Epigenetic’s Science touches on is the effect that diet has on the body. In particular, Epigenetic’s Science goes into detail about the effect that diet has on rats, rodents, 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 laboratory animals also lost muscle mass, which is indicative of insulin resistance. In another experiment, the lab animals were put on a special type of diet where they just received food which contained carbohydrates; they lost body weight fairly quickly.
In order to understand what is happening here, you must have a look at the Epigenetic’s Science methodology. Fundamentally, they’re growing yeast in lab cultures and watching what happens. After the yeast grows to a certain point, it is going to replicate and thus create a new generation of yeast cells. In this case, the creation of cells was used to study insulin resistance, something that we humans possess.
Of course, there are other Epigenetic’s Science techniques they use, such as gene regulation and the analysis of cancerous tumors. In actuality, they have recently established a successful clinical trial where they are attempting to treat Alzheimer’s disease in mice. As exciting as that may seem, it’s not your regular normal cancer treatment. This study shows they are able to control and regulate cells and halt the growth of cancerous tumors.
In addition to diabetes, Epigenetic’s Science may be used for other types of diseases and ailments, such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and even cancer. Needless to say, these studies are very small so we do not have much of a sense of what they will mean for human health. Still, it is 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!