Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

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JustinN
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Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:17 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby JustinN » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:58 pm

I skimmed through an article about social epigenetics and equality and the authors made a case for the responsibility of social institutions in maintaining social equality. From what I got from it, social institutions have control over environmental factors that are out of an individual's reach. I'm curious to see what others think.

http://phe.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/2/142.full

pkshah
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:59 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby pkshah » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:04 pm

"The hunt is on. Giant pharmaceutical and smaller biotech firms are searching for epigenetic compounds to boost learning and memory. It has been lost on no one that epigenetic medications might succeed in treating depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder where today’s psychiatric drugs have failed" (Discovery Magazine).

I am extremely impressed that this is all going to become possible pretty soon. However, the enthusiasm with which big Pharma and Biotech firms jump on this is really upsetting to me. I know its a win win situation; however, there is an obvious side effect of coming up with epigenetic drugs. Once patented, the drugs, even if needed, will be under control of those who want to seek a profit and nothing more. I wish that the world health organization or something was responsible for creating drugs like this. I know, of course, that the free market economy and the promise of profit is what encourages innovation; however, I suppose I just wish this was not the case with regards to drugs that could truly better the quality of the human race. Everyone should have the ability to up the ante.

Nancy Galeno
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Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:03 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby Nancy Galeno » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:09 pm

After watching the video that we watched in class yesterday I feel that the article makes much more sense to me in respect to how what an individual experiences can affect their kids and grandkids. I thought that the example with the pregnant women during 9/11 made a lot of sense in how the PTSD that they developed would affect their babies if they were already pregnant during the incident. The higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol would be transmitted to the baby.

Michelle Tarango
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 5:59 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby Michelle Tarango » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:37 pm

I found it interesting that rodents who had inattentive mothers had methlyated changes in their brains that then caused them to be less attentive to their offspring, creating a cycle that was caused by the experiences of multiple generations. Because this "bad mothering" is genetic, I feel that if it were applied to humans, it would almost be an excuse for people's bad behavior. If they can blame something on their grandparents' experiences, the impetus for them to change a bad behavior may be less because they see it as something they inherited instead of something that can be changed with effort.

lgomez
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Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:13 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby lgomez » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:54 pm

Epigenetics definitely seems like a fascinating field in this article. While it did talk about how it could be applied, I don't know how eager we should be to change something so drastic. It definitely feels as if we need to have a lengthy debate in the scientific community over to what extent we should characterize a person as a function of biology. Though the argument could be made that methylation and such is the result of nurture

sarahsilverman
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:59 am

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby sarahsilverman » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:54 pm

Based on our class discussion yesterday about whether is is ethical to have children after experiencing a traumatic event (given the potential impact on the epigenome), I have been considering the effects that wars and attacks on other countries might have, beyond our current understanding. Though I personally believe that is is inexcusable to kill civilians for political purposes, many in the past have had to justify killing or harming civilians because it prevented some further war or catastrophe (dropping the a-bomb on Hiroshima is a common example). However, how much harder must it be to make those claims in light of our new understanding of epigenetics, harming civilians physically or emotionally can have downstream effects two and three generations into the future.

lemacias
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:04 pm

Re: Sept. 8 and 9: Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes (required)

Postby lemacias » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:22 pm

What I like about this movie is that epigenetics gives us a different perspective of what the genes in our bodies are capable of. Just contemplating the idea that or genes are influenced by our near environment, how easily is then to manipulate or program our own bodies and how much harm have we done to them... This is the type of information that all the people should be aware of (but I also think how easily is then to blame epigenetics for the lack of responsibility that we have taken)


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