Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Your Epigenome involves the complex environment surrounding your genes as well as the cellular memories filed on protein strands in the nucleus of cells. Not all cells have a nucleus, red blood cells, for example, although most cells do. Bruce Lipton, PhD, is touted as the foremost authority on the link between your emotions and genetic expression. Metaphorically, Dr. Lipton compares the outer layer of the cell (epigene) to a computer chip: DNA represents your genetic hardware; epigenes represent your software. Epigenes convey information about environmental factors that influence both the behavior and the physiology of the cell. Because molecular pathways connect the mind and body, retraining your thinking can change your body. Thus, your thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions are the true keys to optimal wellness. These three additional layers, especially the epigenome, help to explain the reason that 6 billion plus people on this planet, who all differ, do so within a collection of 25,000-30,000 genes. Dr. Lipton’s research helps explain this. Your ‘environment’ includes everything from your attitudes, mindset, thought patterns, self-talk, beliefs, habits, and addictive behaviors. It involves whether or not you are living a Longevity Lifestyle and everything from what you eat and drink to your sleep and exercise patterns, and ad infinitum. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Genome Plus Three

Your genome, 46 chromosomes and the 25,000-30,000 genes on them, was once thought primarily to be in charge of determining your development, including your height, skin hue, eye color, and on and on. In their book Evolving Ourselves, authors Juan Enriques and steve Gullans, PhD, describe three additional layers that have a profound impact on how your genes express themselves and how your brain and body develop and function. These layers are:
·         Epigenome: the complex array of matter surrounding your genes
·         Microbiome: the trillions of bacteria in your body

·         Virome: trillions of viruses that far outnumber both your body’s cells and microbes

Friday, October 2, 2015

The 1% of Your DNA

Researchers say that only 99% of DNA is contained within your chromosomes and the genes (letters spelling out words, phrases, and sentences). Where is the remaining 1%? Turns out it is in your mitochondria: tiny rod-shaped organelles—power generators (energy factories) inside the cell—that convert oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This is the chemical energy "currency" of the cell that powers all its metabolic processes. If it stops working properly you are out of energy. Period. Unlike chromosomal DNA that is inherited from both parents, you get all your mitochondrial DNA from your mother. What happens when mitochondrial DNA mutates? More next time.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Secret DNA Language

Work by Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos has discovered a secret language, if you will. About 15% of DNA’s 64-letter alphabet (codons) are dual-use codons (duons) that simultaneously specify both amino acids and transcription factor (TF) sequences. This means that many DNA changes that appear to alter protein sequences may actually cause disease by disrupting gene control programs or even both mechanisms simultaneously. For example, (e.g., sickle cell anemia can be caused by a change in one single gene). If you think of DNA as a language with 64 letters in its alphabet, it makes sense (metaphorically) that if one of the words is misspelled, the meaning to the phrase or sentence can be completely changed. Imagine you were writing a paper for school and instead of using the word ‘mine’ your used the word ‘mime.’ That ‘mistake’ could give an entirely different meaning to the gist of your paper and could result in the professor giving you a lower grade. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Your Genome and Mutations

Estimates are that about 5% of cells in your body mutate when they multiply and divide—the new cell fails to copy the pattern completely and accurately from the original desirable pattern. Every person’s DNA contains mutations that typically are quite harmless. Others, however, are harmful and may be responsible for triggering abnormal conditions and specific diseases. A mutation is simply a change in the spelling of a DNA sequence. What does that mean? It’s fascinating! Think of DNA as a genetic language that consists of a 64-letter (codons) alphabet that spells out the genetic code. The letters are organized into words and sentences called genes - a segment of DNA passed down from parents to child that confers a trait to the offspring. Humans have 25,000-30,000 genes, usually in pairs (one from each parent). More tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Your Genome

Most people are familiar with the word genome. It refers to your complete set of genetic information encoded within 23 pairs of chromosomes in the cell nucleus and the 25,000 to 30,000 genes on them. A chromosome is a single piece of coiled DNA, a biomolecule that holds the blueprint for how you were built; 99% of all your DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in your body is found in your chromosomes (and in the 25,000-30,000 genes on your chromosomes). For over 40 years it has been assumed that DNA changes affecting the genetic code solely impact how proteins are made. According to Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos, University of Washington associate professor of genome sciences and of medicine, this basic assumption about reading the human genome missed half of the picture. New findings highlight that DNA is an incredibly powerful information storage device, which nature has fully exploited in unexpected ways. More tomorrow.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Relationship Evaluation

Healthy, desirable relationships enrich your life and you, in turn, can enrich theirs. Become the person that you want for your best friend (and you are the only person who will be with you for your entire life) and then you will be attractive to and attracted by others with similar characteristics. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you and the way you purpose to treat them. Are you quickly able to list at least five key characteristics that you greatly admire about the relationship you are evaluating? Characteristics you wish for yourself? No? Hmmm. Take time to make two lists: one of characteristics you admire about this relationship and the other of behaviors that you do not admire or appreciate and that you do not aspire to develop. If the cons outweigh the pros this may be a relationship you need to let go. Be honest. Are you holding on to this relationship out of a sense of inappropriate loyalty or fear of loss? You may find the Relationship Evaluation on my website under Assessments helpful. After doing this on paper a few times, it becomes quite easy to move this to a mental evaluation. Sometimes people hold on to dysfunctional relationships far longer than is good for them. Marc Chernoff put it this way: You will only ever be as great as the people with whom you surround yourself; so be brave enough to let go of those who keep bringing you down.