Our genes are not adding up as expected

A feeling or thought attached to a specific mood in one person doesn’t, always, apply the same way to everyone. In fact, how we each sense, think about and emote are challengingly different across each and every person. Now, it is surfacing that the same point is true in those genes we all carry within us.


Wesley Bedrosian/Theispot

“But with genome sequencing becoming faster, cheaper, and more accessible all the time, it quickly became apparent that this attitude overlooked one very important aspect of biology—genomic variation among individuals. And for some species, such variation can be significant. In the early 2000s, for example, when Tettelin, then at the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), and his colleagues compared eight isolates of Streptococcus agalactiae (or group B Streptococcus, GBS), they found not only the small, within-gene variations predicted by conventional genetics, but an average of 33 completely new genes with every new genome sequenced. “It was a shock,” says Tettelin. “We saw there were many regions—relatively large regions—of diversity.””  ~  The Pangenome: Are Single Reference Genomes Dead?

Environment makes all the difference in the world in how those genes become expressed. We have been learning what impact any and every mothers’ life experiences during pregnancy will have on the little one which emerges from her. We are, also, discovering how our experiences play a part in which of our genes are turned on and off. This flipping of switches can and probably does happen repeatedly across all those decades of our lives.

This effectively means that we are an uncertain combination of free and determined. Perhaps, most confusing is our being unable, or as I think it is better said, unwilling to give ourselves permission to have no final solution to the puzzle we live.

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