Home » Epigenetics, Genomics, News » Just because you have a predisposing gene—or several—may not mean you get the disease

Just because you have a predisposing gene—or several—may not mean you get the disease

Usually. But what does?

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG

Maybe genes are a bit like politics. That is, pundits claim they know exactly why this person or that was elected, but many of their predictions are wrong. They’re wrong because there were other factors of whose existence they were unaware or whose effects they misread. And maybe so with genes’ role in disease.

The body is as complex as the body politic, arguably more. (Hard to say, really, because the one is concrete and the other is abstract.) So, it is heartening to read about new methodologies:

DNA is the blueprint according to which our body is constructed and functions. Cells “read” this blueprint by transcribing the information into RNA, which is then used as a template to construct proteins — the body’s building blocks. Genes are scanned based on the association of their RNA with ribosomes — particles in which protein synthesis takes place.

It’s not whether it exists, but whether its existence makes any difference in the long run.

“Until now, researchers have been focusing on the effects of disease-associated genomic variants on DNA-to-RNA transcription, instead of the challenging question of effects on RNA-to-protein translation,” says Dr. Polychronakos. “Thanks to this methodology, we can now better understand the effect of genetic variants on translation of RNA to protein — a powerful way of developing biomarkers for personalized medicine and new therapies.”

The chief evil of eugenics and related destructive social trends was the pretense that there were genes-for-this and genes-for-that, which is not really how life works. It will be much different when the doctor can say to a patient: Your personal profile suggests a higher than average risk for early onset arthritis if you do thus-and-such instead of so-and-so. And then leave it with the patient. At that point, it is all personal and voluntary – people taking charge of their own health, not the government saying who has a right to live.

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3 Responses to Just because you have a predisposing gene—or several—may not mean you get the disease

  1. As to the fact that we are not so much the victims of our genes as we were once thought to be, it is interesting to note that, besides environmental factors having epigenetic effects on our genes, even our thoughts and feelings can reach all the way down and ‘epigenetically’ control the gene expression of our bodies:

    Genie In Your Genes – video
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/ggtrailer.html
    main website
    excerpt: There are over 100 genes in your body that are activated by your thoughts, feelings and experiences
    http://www.genieinyourgenes.com/

    Upgrade Your Brain
    Excerpt: The Research; In his book The Genie in Your Genes (Elite Books, 2009), researcher Dawson Church, PhD, explains the relationship between thought and belief patterns and the expression of healing- or disease-related genes. “Your body reads your mind,” Church says. “Science is discovering that while we may have a fixed set of genes in our chromosomes, which of those genes is active has a great deal to do with our subjective experiences, and how we process them.”
    One recent study conducted at Ohio University demonstrates vividly the effect of mental stress on healing. Researchers gave married couples small suction blisters on their skin, after which they were instructed to discuss either a neutral topic or a topic of dispute for half an hour. Researchers then monitored the production of three wound-repair proteins in the subjects’ bodies for the next several weeks, and found that the blisters healed 40 percent slower in those who’d had especially sarcastic, argumentative conversations than those who’d had neutral ones.
    http://experiencelife.com/arti.....our-brain/

    It is simply completely contrary to the materialistic/Darwinian perspective, since ‘mind’ is held to be merely ‘emergent’ from a materialistic basis, that conscious thought and attitude would have the ability to reach all the way down to the genetic level.,, Here are a few more supporting studies:

    Anxiety May Shorten Your Cell Life – July 12, 2012
    Excerpt: These studies had the advantage of large data sets involving thousands of participants.
    If the correlations remain robust in similar studies, it would indicate that mental states and lifestyle choices can produce epigenetic effects on our genes.
    http://crev.info/2012/07/anxie.....cell-life/

    How those marital rows can be bad for your health by JENNY HOPE – December 2005
    Excerpt: Married couples who constantly argue risk damaging their health, according to a study.
    It found that marital rows can prolong the time it takes the body to heal itself after an injury.
    One argument alone can slow this process by a day.
    And the study claims that when married couples feel consistently hostile towards one another, the delay in the healing process can be doubled.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/hea.....ealth.html

    Whereas conversely, it is found that the positive mental state of happiness, love, caring, and nurturing, have a pronounced positive effect on health,,

    The health benefits of happiness – Mark Easton – 2006
    Excerpt: “It’s not just that if you’re physically well you’re likely to be happy but actually the opposite way round,” said Dr Cox.
    (Extensive studies show that) “If you are happy you are (much more) likely in the future to have less in the way of physical illness than those who are unhappy”.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/pro.....924180.stm

    ABC News – The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

    Social isolation and its health implications January 2012
    Excerpt: Studies show that social isolation and/or loneliness predict morbidity and mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, and a host of other diseases. In fact, the body perceives loneliness as a threat. Research from the University of California suggests that loneliness or lack of social support could triple the odds of being diagnosed with a heart condition. Redford Williams and his colleagues at Duke University directed a study in 1992 on heart patients and their relationships. They discovered that 50% of patients with heart disease who did not have a spouse or someone to confide in died within five years, while only 17% of those who did have a confidante died in the same time period.12
    http://www.how-to-be-healthy.o.....lications/

  2. Moreover the positive effect of a caring attitude is found to work both ways, in that not only does the person receiving loving care from another person heal more quickly, but it is also found that people of a giving, loving, nature also receive the tangible benefits of a longer and healthier life in return:

    Study finds it actually is better (and healthier) to give than to receive – February 4, 2013
    Excerpt: A five-year study by researchers at three universities has established that providing tangible assistance to others protects our health and lengthens our lives.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....thier.html

    Perhaps this tangible effect of love on health goes towards explaining why women, who are generally more loving and caring than men are, live on average five to 10 years longer than men do??? Of course from a Christian perspective this tangible effect of love is to be expected, whereas from a materialistic perspective, well to put it mildly, from a materialistic perspective of survival of the fittest, dog eat dog, it is very counter intuitive:

    Of related note, Dr. Jeffery Schwartz has had much success in treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCDs) through “The Mind” of the patient. This simply should not be possible if the deeply ingrained behavior of a person truly had a material basis for its origination:

    Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz – Focused Attention Changes Behavior – United Nations Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycnIO4o9vbE

    Verse and music:

    John 5:6
    When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

    Sara Groves – Something Changed – music
    http://www.vimeo.com/28076423

  3. Reviewing the book Genetic Prophecy, Malcolm Browne wrote in the November 1981 issue of Discover magazine: “For the first time it begins to seem possible to look at the chemistry of even an unborn child and make some shrewd guesses about its future—its probable state of health and susceptibility to diseases, its athletic potential, its tastes, interests, and ability to get along with other people, its life expectancy, and, yes, its intelligence.”

    From this, some may conclude that a person’s life course is predetermined by his genetic makeup. However, even the writer of the book feels that “the genes propose, the environments dispose.” Heredity may incline a person in a certain direction, but his upbringing and, above all, his exercise of free will and choice ultimately determine the outcome.

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