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Author Topic: Can your behaviour change your genes?  (Read 2403 times)

Offline thedoc

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Can your behaviour change your genes?
« on: 07/01/2015 01:30:01 »
Randolph Prime asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Does behaviour change Genes?

Is there such a thing as Cerebral Allergies that can mimic intellectual disability?

Are we devolving as a race?

Does masturbation cause mental illness?


What do you think?
« Last Edit: 07/01/2015 01:30:01 by _system »


 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2015 12:34:29 »
Sometimes, no, no, and no, respectively.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2015 10:48:47 »
Quote
Does behaviour change Genes?
If your behaviour includes smoking, sunbaking or exposing yourself to nuclear radiation, this can mutate the genes in your DNA, potentially causing cancer.

More likely, your behaviour or environment will affect epigenetic markers like methylation or acetylation of certain genes, which controls the expression of these genes, rather than the coding of these genes.

A more difficult question is whether these changes are inherited.
- DNA mutations in lungs or skin will not be inherited, but mutations in sperm or eggs may be inherited.
- Evidence suggests that epigenetic markers can affect the expression of genes inherited by children. In the case of the Dutch famine during WW2, it seems that this affects both children & grandchildren of women who were pregnant at that time.

Quote
Is there such a thing as Cerebral Allergies that can mimic intellectual disability?
It was once thought that the brain and spine were protected from the immune system, but now we know that the situation is more complex.
There is evidence that some cases of schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis are caused by immune cells attacking the brain.
There are also cases where a teratoma containing brain cells causes the immune system to attack the brain.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #3 on: 08/01/2015 12:19:14 »
Certainly things like dating and partner selection will affect the next generation of offspring. 

You would have to define "devolving".  Humans may still be evolving slowly.  As we become more technologically advanced, gene selection may also change.  For example conditions that would have been fatal at birth 50 years ago, or perhaps limited a woman to a single child no longer carry those limitations. 

So children who would not have survived wtihout C-Section are now having children (by C-Section?)
 

Offline Atomic-S

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #4 on: 09/01/2015 05:05:59 »
Certain butterflies complete their annual migration in several of their lifetimes, requiring that the knowledge to migrate be passed from one generation to the  next. An interesting question is to what extent the species is capable of changing its migratory behavior if environmental conditions change, and if they can, how is that knowledge passed on? 
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #5 on: 09/01/2015 14:20:10 »
Certain butterflies complete their annual migration in several of their lifetimes...
Interesting - do you have a link or reference or species names?
 

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Re: Can your behaviour change your genes?
« Reply #5 on: 09/01/2015 14:20:10 »

 

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