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18 19 ePiGenetiCs same genes, but different ones expressed In 1942 Conrad Hal Waddington 190575 described a new science, epigeneticsa branch of biology that studies those causal interactions between genes and their products which bring the phenotype into being. The term today refers to heritable traits which can be passed down from parents as expressions of certain genes using a process known as methylation, where small markers stick to the parental DNA. Despite there being a full copy of parental DNA in every nucleus, only a small proportion of genes are active, or switched on in any cell at any one time. The bloodstream is full of millions of different chemical messengers that target specific genes in specific cells. By noticing and remembering which genes that were on, or off, sperm and eggs can pass on certain acquired parental traits. A mechanism for Lamarckism. Environmental conditions, diet and pollution, have all been shown to influence genomic changes in offspring. What you do today really does influence the genome of your greatgreat grandchild. The epigenetic process has been likened to chewinggum stuck on the DNA switches. The gum can be either on or off at any time, inhibiting the switching of the gene. If both gene and gum are on, the gene has to stay on until the gum is removed by an external influence and vice versa, and in combination. Epigenetics reveals that emotions, fears, addictions and other triggers and hormonal surges that course as a chemical cocktail through your arteries can all be passed on to your children by this process. Additionally, you really can affect the expression of your DNA simply by thinking about things Above Epigenetics is the study of gene expression. Genes may be unalterable during a lifetime, but their particular expression is affected by many factors and can be passed on to descendants. Genes can be switched on, or off, depending on the cocktail of proteins and hormones flooding the system, and their sensitivity to the cocktail. In the example above, the plants chemical response to exposing the seed to cold can be passed on to its own offspring.
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