We’ve all heard “you are what you eat.” But is it possible to still be what your grandparents ate?
This theory was explored at the genes vs. destiny seminar given at Del Mar College on April 22 by Del Mar College Associate Professor Zaldy F. Doyungan, Ph.D. Doyungan explained the concept of epigenetics, which is the study of the regulation of gene expression.
This concept explains how who we are is at least partially determined by the choices our relatives made. For example, Doyungan explained that if your grandmother or grandfather experienced starvation in their life, then you could still possibly be feeling the effects of that. The way Doyungan explained this was that our genes get passed down from our ancestors, so the experiences of our past relatives can have an effect on our genes and who we are today.
One of the big implications of studying epigenetics is that it is assisting cancer research. Without getting too technical the way this was explained is that it is possible to create genes within someone to help fight the cancer cells from within.
The main focus of this seminar was to inform those who showed up about the study of epigenetics. The fact that the choices you make today can impact your grandchildren makes you think a little bit, and the idea that you’re shaped by your ancestors’ experiences is intriguing. Epigenetics attempts to o er an explanation to that question.