reply to post by unityemissions
You're making an illogical statement that just because we currently can't see the value of the genome, it must have little value.
Erm, no - I didn't say that. And I am emphatically uninterested in an old-school "nature-vs-nurture" debate - it's unproductive and begs the
issues. On that "debate," I go with psychologist Donald Hebb's question: "which contributes more to the area of a rectangle, its length or its
To clarify my position: Life on this planet evolved to survive in an environment that no longer exists.
Obviously, in an ecologically and biologically stable environment, there is a fairly even balance between gene-environment impacts on phenotype.
However, we have radically changed our planet's chemistry, altered molecular structures and more - as a result, we've changed the earth's eco- and
bio- logics, and
the terms, processes and mechanics of various systems' interactions. As a direct consequence of these environmental changes,
environmental impacts on phenotype (not genotype) now outweigh genetics' role. To coin a phrase [sic], the world is out of balance and so are we.
... you seem to focus too in depth on the environment, and this biases you
Back atcha big boy.
...It is very clear that environmental factors can override "genetics" - as in gene silencing, for example. Even when genes
are not silenced, there are numerous possible overrides and modifications that can and do occur downstream - as with (you guessed it) - prions.
...gene expression is only one part of the story: “The protein is where the actual function
is,” he explained. “You express a gene that then produces a protein, but the protein does the work.”
According to the broadest definition of epigenetics, which includes any non-DNA-sequence-based system for the perpetuation of information, any
protein-based system for the storage of cellular memory is also epigenetic.
Prions represent such a viable, protein-based
system for epigenetic memory. Once a protein has been converted into its prion form, that protein promotes the transition of other cognate proteins
into the prion form.
Misfolded infectious proteins are just one mechanism of epigenetic change. It is simple scientific fact that a variety of environmental
"perturbations" can cause proteins to misfold and become infectious. One such perturbation is chemical exposure. As it happens, we have introduced
over 80,000 totally synthetic and completely alien
chemicals into our environment - counting potential combinations and permutations with
naturally occurring chemicals, we have created infinite potential alien
exposures that we are not evolved to accommodate.
And that's just one small part of one miniscule quadrant in the web of life.
But to clarify further - the evidence suggests that epigenetic changes, particularly prion-related changes, are a kind of evolutionary "clinical
trial": they are inheritable but reversible; if the risks outweigh the benefits, they disappear; if the benefits outweigh the risks, they become
permanent, and alter DNA.
...genes do matter, and grades of individuals can be reasonably be assessed. ...An example: ...The guy he trains with most often, said he has no clue
how Rich can maintain his weight while doing so much work and eating so little. He's a genetic freak among genetic freaks, a grade above the rest,
and has a will of solid gold. That's why he's the best.
"Grades"? Really? Methinks you're overly enthralled with wholly superficial -and transitory- evidence of "superiority."
To recap. Given that:
1. Life on this planet evolved to survive in an environment that no longer exists.
2. We have radically changed our planet's chemistry, altered molecular structures and more - as a result, we've changed the earth's eco- and bio-
the terms, processes and mechanics of various systems' interactions.
3. As a direct consequence of these environmental changes, environmental impacts on phenotype (not genotype) now outweigh 'genetics' - and
epigenetic change is running rampant in response to environmental change.
4. Such epigenetic changes - most evident as "disease" - are best understood as "test runs" that will lead to adaptation and evolution.
5. With reference to "genetic superiority," people with working class ancestors who were exposed to various environmental pollutants, and whose
bloodlines show epigenetic disease, are arguably better evolved to survive in our altered world. In comparison, the unexposed elite are dead in the
water - they'll expire the moment they're exposed to the real world.
[out of space]