Introduction: The Miracle of Genetics. Defining Epigenetics
The problems of genetics have always been drawing people’s attention. No matter what level technological development people can reach, the idea of entering the genetic domain still seems rather creepy and at the same time very promising. Hence the weird attraction and awe towards identical twins (Araniel, 2012) and other paradoxes of genetics comes.
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However, having an identical, or enzygotic twin means sharing not only every single feature, but also a range of genetic diseases. However, with the help of epigenetics, the above-mentioned problem can be solved. Defined as the study of changes within a human body that have been enhanced by other factors than genetic ones, epigenetics can help avoid genetic diseases that run in the family.
A Different Perspective on Epigenetics: Article Discussion
Found in the Genomics & Genetics Weekly journal, the article titled New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center allows for a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms in developing leukemia. According to the research hypothesis, with the help of epigenetics, a more detailed analysis of the factors enhancing myeloid leukemia is possible.
To be more exact, the increase of DNA methylation, which decreases the risk of developing leukemia, is possible to achieve by converting 5-methyl-cytosine to 5-hydroxymethyl-cytosine enzymatically with the help of TET2 (New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2013). According to the research results, “Thus, TET2 mutations affect global methylation in CMML but most of the changes are likely to be outside gene promoters” (New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2013).
The strong points of the research: concerning the innovations
It must be admitted that the research makes efficient use of the newest technologies. Moreover, it is essential that the researchers studied “chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) samples” (New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2013), thus, offering a solution to the diseases that used to be a death sentence.
The scope of research and other limitations: questioning the credibility
However, it is also necessary to point out that the research conducted by New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center also has its limitations. Among the most obvious ones, the scope of the research should be mentioned. Since only 30 people took part in the research, it is not yet possible to assume that a panacea for genetic diseases has been discovered.
Concerning the major findings: the role of the gene promoters
The research shows that genetically, a predisposition to a certain type of illness can be modified, once a certain outer factor is introduced into the organism. Moreover, the research shows that the intervention is highly likely to be successful: “total 5-methyl-cytosine levels in TET2 mutant cases were significantly higher than TET2 wild-type cases (median=14.0% and 9.8%, respectively) (p=0.016” (New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 2013).
Family History Worksheet Analysis: When Genealogy and Genetics Go Hand in Hand
Weirdly enough, being predisposed to a specific disease does not mean necessarily having to face them in the future. Knowing the problem means winning half the battle; therefore, a careful study of the family genealogy must be conducted.
Feeling safe: what does not seem to be the problem
The two obvious issues to take into account are diabetes and cancer. However, of all the possible problems, the two above-mentioned seem the least possible. The test shows that only distant relatives have the diabetes; moreover, one of the instances had a childhood onset, which means that the symptoms of diabetes are unlikely to develop at present.
Checking the threat department: where the danger lurks
However, certain issues might appear rather problematic. According to the test results, the parents suffer from allergies and asthma. On the one hand, the latter could have developed due to unhealthy lifestyle led after the birth of a child and, therefore, have no impact on the latter.
On the other hand, the test shows that the sibling is also asthmatic. Hence, it can be considered that asthma is also among the possible threats In addition, such issue as allergies is worth a serious consideration. Since the parents are allergic to certain elements, it is necessary to check what exactly causes allergy in parents and be extremely careful with the rest of possible allergens (Family history worksheet, n. d.).
Preventing the storm: the possible steps to be undertaken
Speaking of asthma, breathing exercises and specific medicine can be prescribed to prevent the outbreaks of the disease. As for allergies, keeping far away from the possible allergens is required; however, it is also needed to run several tests to determine the exact allergens that trigger the reaction.
Vitality Coach Recommendations: Worksheet Two Analysis
As it has been mentioned, the diseases that run in the family had been considered inevitable for any family member up to the point at which the epigenetics postulates have been formulated. Considering genetic diseases will help develop the strategy to avoid these illnesses in the future.
Dieting issues: something fishy
There is no need to stress the significance of dieting any harder; it is obvious that good nutrition rules help improve the organism clockwork and prevent a number of diseases from happening. According to the results that the worksheet has provided, it is crucial to choose vegetables, fruit and fish as the basis for diet.
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Exercises and physical activity
However, even with the most well balanced diet, getting into shape is hardly possible unless one takes up the right exercises. As the test results how, with the help of physical activity, some of the genetic issues with weight gain and anxiety can be resolved. Moreover, the test results say that daily exercises will help having a good sleep at night (Worksheet 2. Vitality coach recommendations, n. d.).
Getting a grip: emotions control
According to the results of the completed questionnaire, there are also certain emotional issues that need to be addressed. According to the research data, anxiety, sleep deprivation and communicational problems do not come from a genetic background, but are a result of stressful life and the inability to control emotions. Therefore, it will be necessary to reconsider my lifestyle and start working on my emotions control, which will help fight my predisposition to the above-mentioned diseases.
Conclusion: There Is Yet Much to Learn. Epigenetics Takes off
Judging by the potential that epigenetics has nowadays, and the opportunities that it opens for the studies in genetics, there is a whole new world of discoveries ahead. While there is yet much to learn, it is clear even now that with the help of epigenetics, the cure for a number of genetic diseases can be found.
Family history worksheet (n. d.). PDF file. 22 March 2013.
New epigenetics study results reported from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (2013). Genomics & Genetics Weekly, 95. Web.
Araniel (2012). NOVA scienceNOW: 33 – epigenetics. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG8nt9OlODo
Worksheet 2. Vitality coach recommendations (n. d.) MS Word file. 22 March 2013.