Noted geneticist Snoop Dogg once said--and I'm paraphrasing here--that no matter where one goes in life, one's surroundings during one's formative years stay with one for life. No matter where you go, you can't change where you're from (I think Prof. Dogg was actually calling back to an old Comrads lyric from the song Homeboyz--I'm sure you all will correct me in the comments). Findings published today in the International Journal of Epidemiology suggest that he may have been correct--socio-economic status and living standards early in life may actually cause changes to your DNA that you carry with you for life, regardless of how your living conditions change along the way.
In some ways, we already knew that. Some adult diseases--type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, etc.--have been linked to socio-economic disadvantages in early life. But we don't really know why or how. Researchers in Canada and the UK may have just found the key.
Their sample size is admittedly small, but what they found was significant. In 40 research patients in the UK that are participating in an ongoing study that has documented many aspects of their lives, researchers looked at differences in gene methylation. Methylation is an epigenetic modification to one's DNA that changes a gene's activity, generally reducing that activity within the genome. Various factors can influence methylation, including environmental conditions.
In their sample, the researchers looked at DNA taken from the subjects at age 45. They chose subjects that had come from either very high or very low standards of living, and they looked at differences in DNA methylation across some 20,000 genes. They found that 1,252 methylation differences were associated with socio-economic circumstances in early life while just 545 were associated with socio-economic circumstances in adulthood, suggesting that where you come from really does make an impact on the very fiber of your biological being.
Moreover, the methylation patterns were clustered together in large swaths of DNA, suggesting an epigenetic pattern linked to humans' early environments. That's actually good news. If we know some diseases are linked to a person't early upbringing, and we can see where there are changes happening in the DNA during early life, then we can narrow the window on where in the genome things like coronary heart disease and diabetes take root. Future research could peg where certain methylation differences are associated with specific diseases, then target those areas with drugs or other treatments.
Nurture over nature
As I look up at the sky
My mind starts trippin, a tear drops my eye
My body temperature falls
I'm shakin and they breakin tryin to save the Dogg
Pumpin on my chest and I'm screamin
I stop breathin, damn I see deamons
Dear God, I wonder can ya save me
I can't die Boo-Boo's bout to have my baby
I think it's too late for prayin, hold up
A voice spoke to me and it slowly started sayin
"Bring your lifestyle to me I'll make it better"
How long will I live?
"Eternal life and forever"
And will I be, the G that I was?
"I'll make your life better than you can imagine or even dreamed of
So relax your soul, let me take control
Close your eyes my son"
My eyes are closed
Murder... murder was the case that they gave me
Murder... murder was the case that they gave me
I'm fresh up out my coma
I got my momma and my daddy and my homies in my corner
It's gonna take a miracle they say
For me to walk again and talk again but anyway
I get, fronted some keys, to get, back on my feet
And everything that nigga said, came to reality
Livin like a baller loc
Havin money, and blowin hella chronic smoke
I bought my momma a Benz, and bought my Boo-Boo a Jag
And now I'm rollin in a nine-trizzay El Do-Rad
"Just remember who changed your mind
Cuz when you start set-trippin, that ass mine"
Indeed, agreed proceed to smoke weed
Never have a want, never have a need
They say I'm greedy but I still want mo'
Cuz my eyes wanna journey some more, really doe (check it out)
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord, my soul to keep
If I should die, before I wake
I pray the lord, my soul to take
No more indo, gin and juice
I'm on my way to Chino, rollin on the grey goose
Shackled from head to toe
25 with an izzl, with nowhere to gizzo, I know
them niggaz from the other side recognize my face
Cuz it's the O.G. D-O-double-G, L-B-C
Mad doggin niggaz cuz I don't care
Red jumpsuit with two braids in my hair
Niggaz stare as I enter the center
They send me to a leval 3 yard, that's where I stay
Late night I hear toothbrushes scrapin on the floor
Niggaz gettin they shanks, just in case the war, pops off
Cuz you can't tell what's next
My little homey Baby Boo took a pencil in his neck
And he probably won't make it, to see twenty-two
I put that on my momma, I'ma ride for you Baby Boo
I think it has more to do with what you accept in your life and the choices you make. If you lived the rich life, anything less would seem like a failure to you, so of course you're going to be wanting to keep with the status quo. If you lived in a modest home, you probably dream of big houses and fancy cars, but are perfectly okay with the same lifestyle you grew up in. But yeah, a group of 40 is way too low.
I wonder though, if one watches a lot of TV and Movies growing up about the good life ... if that changes your DNA as well because, at least here in America, many people strive for the riches. And these so-called reality game singing shows aren't helping.
I honestly believe everything we do and experience gets coded into our DNA somehow. With repetition, even more so. And this gets transferred to our children. If you are very good at art or music, then that also will be handed down somehow. What baffles me is that it sometimes skips generations.
50% Chance effects our life, 50% Destiny is part of your life, 50% Fate is part of our life, 50% good nutriton brings us good life, 50% risky choices effect our life, 50% poor math skills and dumb luck set our journey in life, too!
Epigenetics is one of the most exciting fields of study right now. Epigenetic research has demonstrated that the choices we make in diet, exercise, and even behavior not only alter our immediate well-being, they can alter the expression of our DNA. Those altered traits can be passed on genetically to our progeny. It means our biological destiny is not simply determined by the DNA we're born with. We can change it.
I chose not to read the lyrics of most rap songs cuz I find when I do they make almost NO SENSE...maybe its cuz I am not gangsta
Correct. I think one of the most interesting things about epigenetics, that this article fails to mention, is the ability for these changes to be passed down through generations. For example, if your maternal GRANDMOTHER was undergoing hard times (for example, malnutrition) YOU would be affected. HOW? Well since females form the eggs they carry for life as a fetus, current situations directly impact the "quality" of that genetic code. So if your grandmother was pregnant with your mother, those eggs are forming under stressed conditions. So, your mother would be carrying eggs impacted by those "hard times". Ultimately this can lead to you being more likely to develop certain diseases.
And, on the opposite end, your fathers actions/experiences at the time of producing the sperm responsible for fertilization of YOU is impacted, thus impacting you.
It really is all very interesting stuff. However, this article seems a bit behind the curve in terms of how long we've known about this sort of stuff.
@Delkomatic listen to this...don't have to be gangsta
check out Cyne, group is intelligent.
The people of the world only divide into two kinds, One sort with brains who hold no religion, The other with religion and no brain.
- Abu-al-Ala al-Marri
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