In this age, it’s become relatively common to mull about how life would have been for you if your mum and dad had given you a thinner nose or bigger eyes. If only during that fateful night of passion, a “good looking” sperm had combined with a “good looking” egg to form a “better looking’ you. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, noticing that lopsided smile or new wave of acne, we look for someone to blame. Who? Well, Our parents of course. After all, their genes = their fault, right?Parents, thinking that they are ‘up to date’ with the times, are usually quick to point out that ‘you must be content with who you truly are, cause you already got those genes and nothings changing them’.
‘Yep, we’re looking at you Dad. This is all your fault!’ (Thoughts on leadership 2009)
Yes, you must be comfortable with yourself, however, unbeknownst to many of them, a variety of your features canbe ‘refined’ to perhaps edge towards your expectations through a couple of more recent but possibly painful technological advances. Funnily enough though, your DNA is not stable and can still subtly change, although admittedly, not always in the ways you desire. Parents claim that every cell in your body contains your entire genetic code. But then, what makes each cell different? Wouldn’t we just become a lump of say, fat cells (ie.Adipose tissue)?A recent study led by JiZeng from Rice University has in fact delved into this area of study that revolves around turning parts of our genetic code on and off; creating a machine that can locate these genes. This machine has been tested on a fly with stunning results in detecting over 300 epigenetic genes and this may sound kinda underwhelming, but considering that up until now only 1 has been identified in humans, this info is in fact quite extraordinary (Zeng, J. 2012).
Just like a switch that can turn on and off, genes are constantly turning on and off by anything from environmental factors to agents in your bodies (Bannister n.d.). Epigenetics is the field of science that covers this, however even this field is merely taking it’s first baby steps into infancy. Unfortunately, that switch can fall off as it ages or israndomly misused and when that happens, the light can’t turn offor on. Such a change may result in cancer, the crippling disease that continues to plague the modern world despite development in medical areas proceeding at blinding speeds. In using this machine, we may become capable of preventing the activation of the parts of the person’s DNA that cause cancer.
A diagram of an epigenetic change causing cancer (Bannister n.d.)
Of course, for the moment, this machine only detects certain parts of our DNA that can be activated to cause cancer, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. In any case, this machine can be used to aid in detecting any other epigenetic linked diseases.
Imagine a time where cancer didn’t mean any loss of hair or paying $99999999……. to a local oncologist, but instead just a quick pill to cure. PARADISE! Here we come!!!
Three Fingers Pointing Back, Viewed 18/03/12, <http://thoughtsonleadership.biz/three-fingers-pointing-back/>
Rice University 2012, Breakthrough In Identifying Target Genes For Cancer,Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl. viewed on the 17 March 2012, <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/242872.php>
Bannister, An.d., The role of epigenetics in cancer, Gordon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK