What is a gene?
gene (jēn) n.
A hereditary unit consisting of a sequence of DNA that occupies a specific location on a chromosome and determines a particular characteristic in an organism. Genes undergo mutation when their DNA sequence changes.
Singular, incomprehensibly infinitesimal minute units, which combined together?
Make us ALL…
Not only who and what we are?
But HOW we are.
[via LiveScience] Many times, two siblings raised by the same parents, and subject to similar environmental influences, can turn out to be polar opposites: one kind and generous, the other mean-spirited. A new study reveals that the latter might simply have been dealt the wrong hormone receptor genes.
Oxytocin and vasopressin, two hormones that inspire feelings of love and generosity when they flood our brains, bind to neurons by attaching to molecules called receptors, which can come in different forms. The new research, led by psychologist Michel Poulin of the University of Buffalo, suggests that if you have the genes that give you certain versions of those hormone receptors, you’re more likely to be a nice person than if you have the genes for one of the other versions. However, the researchers found that the genes work in concert with a person’s upbringing and life experiences to determine how sociable — or anti-social — he or she becomes. [Read More]
Despite this seemingly, unchangeable (EVER!) molecular make-up?
Who, what and how you are is NOT inalterable.
Your genes can be overwritten…
[via Gizmodo] Tough Times Are Written in Your DNA; Good Thing You Can Erase Them
You’ve seen the reports that individuals with a lower economic and social status suffer from poor health more often than folks in higher tax brackets. Now, thanks to a multi-year study of rhesus macaques monkeys, researchers have found genetic changes caused by stressful environments are likely contributing to that poor health.
On the bright side, the results also show your genetic fate isn’t permanent when you hit a rough patch. We have the power to change our genes as we manage our stress or improve our situation.
So it appears that genetic changes are fluid and definitely not permanent. What does this likely mean for humans? Says Tung:
I think that this study suggests that our physiology—at least as captured by gene expression in our blood cells—may be fairly plastic in response to changes in our social environment. In other words, if you can improve your social environment (or alleviate social stress), your gene expression profile will rapidly reflect that improvement.
One just has to make the conscious decision to try to do so.
And could the best possible way to start, be as simple as this: Take two minutes out of your day for a period of daily meditation.
It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it?
But just because it seems overly simple…
Doesn’t mean it won’t work.