MAY 27, 2016 11:18 AM PDT

Epigenetics: How your decisions can influence your DNA

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis
As we grow and develop, very specific chemical reactions activate and deactivate parts of our genome at strategic times and in specific locations, essentially turning our genes on and off. Epigenetics is the study of these processes and the factors that influence them.
 
So why care about epigenetics if it is only in your cells? What could you possibly do to affect your DNA? It turns out that what you eat, where you live, how you react, when you sleep, if you exercise, and even how you age can affect epigenetics. Depending on your behavior, chemical modifications can occur on your DNA that can turn genes on or off over time. These genetic modifications can help keep you healthy; or in certain diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, these modifications can cause specific genes to turn to an unhealthy state.
 
However, epigenetics is reversible. For example, someone who changes their unhealthy diet to a drastically healthier one will alter their epigenetics in a positive way. With an estimated 21,000 genes, the number of different combinations of genes being turned on or off is enormous. Once we are able to map every single cause and effect of each different combination, and then learn how to reverse a gene’s state to keep the good while eliminating the bad… think of the possibilities! We could theoretically cure cancer, slow aging, stop obesity, and so much more. Bottom line – pay attention to your decisions as to what you eat, where you live, how you behave, and where you go because these decisions can affect your DNA!
 
 

"Copy + Paste" the code below to embed this infographic into your website.

About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
JAN 12, 2017
Infographics
Glow Power - The Chemistry of Bioluminescence
JAN 12, 2017
Glow Power - The Chemistry of Bioluminescence
Much like the creatures form the land of Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar, glowing (or bioluminescent) animals ha ...
APR 30, 2018
Infographics
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month - What Do You Know About Testicular Cancer?
APR 30, 2018
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month - What Do You Know About Testicular Cancer?
In honor of Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, men's underwear brand Tommy John has partnered with the Testicular Ca ...
OCT 24, 2018
Infographics
The Truth About Body Farms
OCT 24, 2018
The Truth About Body Farms
With Halloween just 1 week away, we invite you to dive into some creepy crawly facts about Body Farms. Yes, they exist a ...
DEC 06, 2018
Infographics
Cool facts about snow
DEC 06, 2018
Cool facts about snow
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Snow? It might be hitting the slopes, sitting by the firepl ...
DEC 02, 2019
Infographics
13  Facts To Know About The Climate Crisis
DEC 02, 2019
13 Facts To Know About The Climate Crisis
Climate crisis is widely recognized as the most urgent problem facing humanity. Climate crisis is real and is happing ri ...
FEB 18, 2020
Health & Medicine
26 Facts About The Human Heart
FEB 18, 2020
26 Facts About The Human Heart
Traditionally Valentine's day is celebrated on February 14, and it's a celebration of love where people show the ...
Loading Comments...