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Is Epigenetics The Way To Changing Our Genetic Destiny?

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If you've acquired a disease due to a life experience, your kids could also. Epigenetics is the study of this phenomenon, where the environment and experiences can alter gene expression without altering the genetic make-up. Transmission of epigenetic memories across generations depends on certain gene-regulating RNAs. Practise meditation for good effect on gene expression.

When Rene Descartes, the influential 17th century French philosopher, famously said, “I think, therefore I am,” he wasn’t referring to the science of epigenetics, but his quote could be a mantra for this emerging field of study.

What Is Epigenetics?

Epigenetics is defined as “the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.”

In other words, although the environment or one’s experiences don’t alter the genetic code, they do alter the way cells read the genes and how they behave as a result.

A simple explanation can be that the environment and life experiences can change the health not only of the people who are exposed to them, but also the health of their descendants.

Study Of Epigenetics

Researchers have shown that environmental circumstances can cause genes to be switched on and off and passed down with the switching mechanism set in the same position so that offspring show a trait that is the result of something they never experienced themselves.

For example, researchers looked at people residing in the western part of the Netherlands during 1944–45 when they were blockaded by the Nazis.

Food became extremely scarce, and people rationed their food, sometimes living on as little as 580 calories a day. More than 22,000 people starved to death during this period.

In examining the children born during this time, researchers found that they were underweight and disease prone.

Even more interesting, however, was the finding that the children of these children were underweight at birth, even though they hadn’t been nutritionally deprived while in the womb.

However, a genetic switch had been triggered.

Epigenetic Effects

These on-off mechanisms can affect such conditions as mental illness, obesity, memory, and addiction.

Recently, a team of Israeli researchers at the University of Tel Aviv discovered that the mechanism responsible for the ability of a gene to switch on or off is a small bit of RNA. Their work, done with worms, has “revealed an active, tunable inheritance mechanism that can be turned ‘on’ or ‘off.’ ”

“These switches are controlled by a feedback interaction between gene-regulating small RNAs, which are inheritable, and the genes that are required to produce and transmit these small RNAs across generations,” Professor Oded Rechavi told Wired magazine.

“The feedback determines whether epigenetic memory will continue to the progeny or not and how long each epigenetic response will last.”

Epigenetic Alteration And Your Offspring

Although a number of epigenetics studies have focused on examining inherited tendencies toward illness, other studies are exploring the positive opportunities we have to influence our genetic makeup and that of future generations.

A Duke University study homed in on the prenatal nutrition by implanting embryo clones into mice, which were then given differing diets.

The baby mice varied in weight, fur color, and risk for chronic disease, depending on what the mothers had eaten. Nutrition also affected their own sperm and egg cells.

Epigenetic Inheritance Can Be Altered

Turning on genetic switches can have positive effects. In a study conducted by Dr. Linda E. Carlson, results showed that meditation could have an impact on the lifespan of breast cancer survivors.

She divided the survivors in her study into three groups: one group took part in meditation and yoga; another in group therapy; and the third took a short-term stress management course.

Those who meditated and did yoga and those who underwent group therapy were able to preserve the length of their telomeres, the caps on chromosomes that prevent them from deteriorating and leading to ill health.

Telomere length preservation was absent in those who studied stress management. This shows meditation and therapy have beneficial effects on the genes.

Epigenetics And Meditation

A study out of the University of Wisconsin also demonstrated the impact of meditation on human molecular composition.

Among the molecular changes noted in those who had meditated, researchers found “altered levels of gene-regulating machinery and reduced levels of pro-inflammatory genes, which in turn correlated with faster physical recovery from a stressful situation.”

The researchers said that there was no difference between the tested genes in the two groups prior to the start of the study, indicating that meditation led to epigenetic alterations to the genome.

“Our genes are quite dynamic in their expression, and these results suggest that the calmness of our mind can actually have a potential influence on their expression,” said Professor Richard Davidson, an author of the study.

Wouldn’t it be exciting to change not only your genetic destiny but that of your offspring and your offspring’s offspring?

Not meditating yet? It’s easier than you think.

Marlise Karlin

Marlise Karlin is an internationally renowned thought leader who has been interviewed on NBC and Fox News, and shared the stage with other visionaries including Gregg Braden, Panache Desai, and Dr. Eric Pearl. The emotional and physical trauma of her past, and the illnesses it caused, ignited her search to discover new solutions. Converging 25 years of study in Eastern holistic traditions and modern science, including Epigenetics and Neuroplasticity, Marlise developed The Simplicity of Stillness®, SOS Method. Over a decade of case studies has evidenced highly effective benefits for people on 6 continents. Marlise shares these inspiring stories as well as SOS Tools and Technology in her books, The Simplicity of Stillness Method and The Power of Peace in You. www.theSOSmethod.com

Marlise Karlin

Marlise Karlin is an internationally renowned thought leader who has been interviewed on NBC and Fox News, and shared the stage with other visionaries including Gregg Braden, Panache Desai, and Dr. Eric Pearl. The emotional and physical trauma of her past, and the illnesses it caused, ignited her search to discover new solutions. Converging 25 years of study in Eastern holistic traditions and modern science, including Epigenetics and Neuroplasticity, Marlise developed The Simplicity of Stillness®, SOS Method. Over a decade of case studies has evidenced highly effective benefits for people on 6 continents. Marlise shares these inspiring stories as well as SOS Tools and Technology in her books, The Simplicity of Stillness Method and The Power of Peace in You. www.theSOSmethod.com

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