from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Your fate is not completely written in your DNA. Environmental conditions can certainly change your life significantly, and you can even control some risk factors to your benefit. Sure, some things like poverty aren’t quite under anyone’s direct control (and it has a measurable detrimental effect on kids’ DNA). But if you’re looking for some more good reasons to make a new year’s resolution, maybe think about how you can change your epigenetics for the better?
- Exercise apparently changes how genes are expressed. The field of epigenetics isn’t well understood yet, but there are a lot of factors that can change how our genes send signals to our bodies. By studying people riding a stationary bicycle using only one leg, researchers could find evidence of genetic differences in the muscles of legs that exercised and that did not. [url]
- CTRA or “conserved transcriptional response to adversity” looks at how stress affects gene expression in our bodies, and there are some correlations that suggest detectable health effects come from charitable actions. Presumably, activities that lower stress (such as volunteering, etc) have some effect on your well being that are different from actions that are merely self gratifying. [url]
- Drinking soda every day probably isn’t great for your long term health. Correlation is not causation, but people who drink sugary sodas daily have shorter telomeres in their white blood cells. That doesn’t mean if you stop drinking soda that these bits of DNA will grow back, though. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.