Epigenetics

Topics: DNA, Cancer, Gene expression Pages: 5 (1469 words) Published: May 17, 2015
Roberto Quintero
DEP2000
Epigenetics, Take Control
Epigenetics can be defined as a way of turning on and off certain genes in your body, which as evidence has shown, we have a lot more control of than we thought. The video on epigenetics was so great, I did not have a clear idea of what epigenetics was. Watching the video really enlightens how far we have come in research of the human body. I find the advancements that have been made using epigenetics with cancer to be one of the best sections of the thirteen minute video. Just knowing the fact that half of the patients that complied with the research whom had cancer to begin with are now in remission is a great accomplishment. I also found the fact that we have more control over our epigenes, we are to modify our own genes by just following a different life regiment. It really puts in perspective the fact that choices that we make now don’t just affect us, but it affects our future son, daughters, and grandchildren. It really should motivate us to strive for the best when it comes to our bodies now that we know the possible outcomes in the future. Around 13 years ago researchers and scientist of the human DNA completed the first map of genes in the human body. This was groundbreaking at the time for the field of molecular medicine, since it would lead to advances in the medical field. Yet, with all this new information there still seemed to be something missing in the big scheme of things. Researcher, Jean-Pierre Issa, director of the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and professor of molecular biology at Temple University Philadelphia, said that by sequencing three billion chemical base pairs that make up the human DNA, scientist will be able to acquire new information about how some genes turn on or are express or how they turn off and are non-expressive. Jean-Pierre, states that there where many hints pointing out that there is something else controlling which genes are expressed and which are not expressed. Jean-Pierre, alike other researchers said that once we had the human genome and its sequence we would be able to understand disease and way that we could cure or control them from taking over our body and mind eventually killing us. But it turns out that know the genetic sequence of the DNA was not enough to explain the behavior of all diseases. In the early 1950s, a man by the name of Conrad Waddington gave the idea that something else was working the sequences in DNA that would modulate the way that our genes where expressing themselves. That’s when epigenetics came to be, suggesting that the development of the human body was not just hardwired by DNA but about epigones that controlled our genes, and whether they were on or off. A behavioral scientist at Columbia University in New York by the name of Frances Champagne once said “When you think of nurture and nature, what epigenetics represents is the interface between those two influences.” Right he was, because nurture directly effects the nature of genes in later stages of a human’s life.

In June 1, 2013 the annual “World Science Festival” was held in New York. Both, Frances and Jean-Pierre where part of a team of four scientist who participated in and event in the Science Festival, their event was titled “Destiny and DNA: Our Pliable Genome”. In the event the scientist explained the epigenetics turn on and off markers on the DNA that in turn modify the gene without actually having to change the sequence at all. Their research found that environmental factors, like stress, traumatic events, and even what you eat can essentially activate or deactivate certain sequences by epigenetic changes. In turn it suggests that DNA maybe in a lot more substile to being altered than ever previously thought of.

Issa and other colleagues have found that the tissue found in lungs with cancerous cells differ in epigenetics markers than those of lungs with no issues. The researchers have been investigating a way of...

Cited: Chow, D. (2013, June 4). Why Your DNA May Not Be Your Destiny. Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://www.livescience.com/37135-dna-epigenetics-disease-research.html
Epigenomics Fact Sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from https://www.genome.gov/27532724
Epizyme to Present Data on Preclinical Pipeline at the American Association for Cancer Research AACR Annual Meeting. (2015, April 1). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://go.galegroup.com.db16.linccweb.org/ps/i.do?&id=GALE|A408449893&v=2.1&u=lincclin_mdcc&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&authCount=1
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