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    Correlation & Causation – Genetics versus Epigenetics/Metabolomics

    By Mark Schauss | May 3, 2009

    People ask me why I am not all that excited about genetic testing. I think the following explanation from Dr. H. Frederik Nijhout, Department of Biology, Duke University puts it my thoughts together perfectly. He talks about genes and what they really do and how our behavior and environment are as important, if not more so than the existence of a specific gene.

    “Think about using a key to open, then turn on a car. The key doesn’t actually control the car but it can be thought to be correlative to the control. The key must be turned and used to turn on the car. It is a stimulus from the outside influences – a human – that makes it work, the true controller and causation of the car turning on and moving. the gene is just a key that needs outside stimulus (environment) to turn on.”

    He further goes on to say – “When a gene product is needed, a signal from its environment, not an emergent property of the gene itself, activates expression of that gene.”

    This is why I feel that just because we know what the gene is, doesn’t mean it will express itself unless the outside environment triggers it and causes it to move. This is why I think it is far more important to fight environmental damage which turns on some of the “bad” genes causing cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other debilitating diseases. It’s not just about global warming, it’s about our species existence. The planet will survive, it’s us that may not the way we’re going.

    Topics: Health, Opinion, Toxicity, Global Warming, Our World | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Correlation & Causation – Genetics versus Epigenetics/Metabolomics”

    1. JC Says:
      May 7th, 2009 at 7:44 am

      Hello Mark:

      I believe that this is the very crux of how humans and nature exist with each other. In a state of give and take. A state of evolving and adapting. Obesity, for instance, is a state of humans adapting to 1) a larger number of calories available 2) a sedentary lifestyle and 3) possible interactions with toxins and environmental pollutants that effect both the food source and humans genetics!

      What we have to understand is that we as humans CANNOT adapt to chemical burdens, pollutants, and toxins in the environment because it is destroying us and the earth.

      What is the answer?

      Awareness of the issues? That’s a start.

      Choosing the right thing to do? What are the choices?

      Action based on empowerment and knowledge.

      Thank you for this awareness!
      And keep it up.

      Juan Carlos