Epigenetic’s Science is written by award winning author, Raoul Pedretta. Good bye, genetically encoded genes… the first book in the exciting new field of epigenetic biology for general readers. The surging new science of epigenetic genetics offers a veritable cornucopia of new insights into our bodies and minds – some unsettling, some comforting. The premise of Epigenetic’s Science is the fact that environmental exposures can have long lasting effects on cellular function. Some of these effects aren’t very easy to reverse and the authors describe how”epigenetic inheritance” can result in such disorders as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. They also clarify the surprising effect of”epigenetic pollution,” environmental contaminants that are not detected by regular testing and that can cause severe health issues.
Like all living systems, cells are constantly changing and grow, divide and die. All cells require a continuous supply of energy, and this procedure is initiated by a process called”mimetic induction”. Through natural selection, positive mutations accumulate over generations, and if they get together, these cells form a sort of cellular memory, or methylation state. This methylation state is passed between generations and determines how cells in 1 family will act in response to environmental challenges and how those cells will respond when similar challenges arise in a different household member.
When methylation is induced in a cell, the result can be a whole gamut of changes on the cell surface and in the biochemical pathways within the cell. This causes alterations in gene function and a corresponding reaction physically. There are a number of ways in which Epigenetic’s Science presents the science of Epigenetics. For instance, each chapter includes an informative section covering among the most common Epigenetic changes that occur in all of us: puberty. The chapters include;”Growthal Sensitivity,””Mutations at Birth,”” hormonal changes,””perinatal development,””adolescent-onset diabetes,” and”nutrition.” I enjoyed each of these and found them to be very interesting and educational.
As you know, during adolescence, the body increases its production of estrogen (in anticipation of future pregnancy), and then, produces DHT (which stands for”dihydrotestosterone”). DHT subsequently binds to the hair follicles, making it difficult for nutrients to reach the roots. This causes baldness in men and a condition known as”male pattern baldness.” Interestingly, this isn’t the only cause of hair loss, since there are other genetic and environmental factors that contribute to hair loss. Epigenetic science goes a step further and suggests that these other causes of hair loss may also be affected by methylation, so future research may shed even more light on Epigenetic’s Science.
The next topic that Epigenetic’s Science touches on is the impact that diet has on the body. In particular, Epigenetic’s Science goes into detail about the effect that diet has on mice, worms, and other organisms. To begin with, one interesting finding was that when the worm C. elegans has been given a high fat diet, it became obese and diabetic. Interestingly, the laboratory animals also lost muscle mass, which is indicative of insulin resistance. In another experiment, the lab animals were put on a particular type of diet where they only received food which contained carbohydrates; they lost body weight fairly quickly.
In order to understand what’s going on here, you have to have a look at the Epigenetic’s Science methodology. Fundamentally, they are growing yeast in laboratory cultures and watching what happens. When the yeast grows to a certain point, it will replicate and thus create a new generation of yeast cells. In this case, the creation of cells has been used to study insulin resistance, something that we humans possess.
Needless to say, there are other Epigenetic’s Science techniques that they use, including gene regulation and the study of cancerous tumors. In fact, they’ve recently launched a successful clinical trial in which they are attempting to treat Alzheimer’s disease in mice. As exciting as that may seem, it is not your regular normal cancer treatment. This study shows that they are able to control and regulate cells and stop the growth of cancerous tumors.
Besides diabetes, Epigenetic’s Science may be used for other kinds of diseases and ailments, such as Parkinson’s, arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and even cancer. Of course, these studies are very small so we don’t have much of a sense of what they will mean for human health. Still, it is an exciting and very promising prospect. Just think, one day you might be able to grow your own cells for immune system support and energy production; essentially creating your very own drug factory!