Monday, January 11, 2010
I immediately launch into a diatribe about epigenetics. The current state of epigenetics is even murkier than micro RNAs. I basically go on a rant and at the end she says "So can those cigarettes I smoked as a kid screw up my grandson?"
OMFG!!! This is why I hate TIME magazine. AND the lay press, AND the secondary education system in this country...AND.........
Ok, here is the real take on Epigenetics. It is a control system, plain and simple, just like these RNAs and whatever else may control t he rate at which DNA does its dance.
Monogenetic disease importance is pretty clear....
Gene Broken (of important protein/etc) + No Repair = Disease Phenotype
But when you can compensate with other genes, or even multiple copies of the same gene or EVEN by upregulating similar genes to carry the load, you have a different story. Which is the story that you will soon hear being told.
The reason our organism exists here is because:
1. We repair our DNA damage pretty well, when we don't we die, usually of cancer
2. We have redundancy mechanisms which, we will find out have epigenetic control
3. We pass these adaptations on to our kin in multiple ways through behavior as well as, ribonucleic acids, as well as methylation and acetylation and......G-d only knows
Do we have any idea how the "F" all of this works. No, which is why I beg all of you hungry reporters working as freelance or as staff reporters for the will known as Time, please stop hyping "the NEXT BIG THING"
God Damn now I am gonna have to deflate the epigenetics balloon too????
Pretty soon everyone will be saying, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO A PROPER EPIGENTICALLY MODIFIED GENOME! I can see it now.......
The Sherpa Says: How about extra methylation causing cancer? How about low methylation ALSO causing cancer? Don't believe me? Pub Med it.......