Category: Epigenetics


The culture medium, environment, the chemistry. Yes, not the genes. We said the genes control us. I say, No, wait. They were all exact same genes so the difference between muscle, bone and fat cells was not determined by the genes, they all had the same genes. It was determined by the environment. Now look in the mirror and what do you see back? An individual entity. You see yourself as single individual, human entity. It’s a misperception of a singleness for this reason. Here’s the true bottom line. You are made up to fifty trillion cells. Your body is a community. The cells are the living entity. When I say your name or I say Bruce, that’s a name I give to a community of fifty trillion cells. The cells again are those single living entity. Here’s the point. Jokey but fun and true. You are skin covered petri dish. Underneath your skin are fifty trillion cells growing in this petri dish.

Then what’s the growth medium? What? We’re already great on that (Previous Writings). Yeah, but if you change the chemical composition of the blood then you change the fate of the cells. That’s what I showed in the plastic dish to the cell. It doesn’t make a difference if the cells in the plastic dish or the skin dish, it’s still response to the chemical composition of the culture medium, the blood. Now, we’re coming to … Here’s the critical point. Fifty trillion cells, the fate of the cells is determined by the chemistry of the blood. Then the next question is, who’s the chemist? Who controls what chemistry’s in the blood? Is it the brain? The brain is a chemist. Yeah, but now get’s one exciting part, here it comes. What chemistry should the brain put into the blood? Ah, it’s dependent on the mind. The mind does an interpretation of the world and then through that interpretation the brain releases chemistry to coordinate you in the world that you see so that your biology is continuously being adjusted by the chemistry of the blood which is continuously changing based on your perceptions of life.

Change your perception of life, you change the chemistry and then you change the genetics. Point like this, if you close your eyes and then open them up and somebody you love is in front of your face, your brain interprets, “Ah, love.” Then the mind sees love, the brain converge that image into chemistry that matches love. It releases chemicals into the blood like Dopamine which is pleasure. Oh, yeah. There’s the one I love. I feel so much pleasure. They releases oxytocin, another chemical. That’s the one that’s bonding. Yes, that’s the one I love. That’s my partner, bonding. It releases another chemical called vasopressin which makes you attractive so that your partner goes, “Oh, I love that person. They’re so attractive.” That’s chemistry. One of the last ones is also important is when you’re in love and the mind, the brain releases what it’s called growth hormone. Growth hormone is the name it says, it’s growth of the system, maintenance of the system. So what is the result of the culture medium called blood? When the mind sees love there is a release of dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin, growth hormone.

This is added to the chemistry and what does that do? Well, that’s a culture medium. What are those elements do? They make you healthy. How do you know? Anybody that’s fallen in love you look at them and go, Oh, look how they glow. They’re so happy in love. They’re so healthy. It’s like love makes you healthy. Yeah, because love is translated into the chemistry that goes into the culture medium that adjust the genetics. Now, let’s take the alternative view and then we got both sides to this thing. You’re there when your eyes closed but this time when you open them, not somebody you love is there, something that makes you afraid puts fear or you’re scared. Oh. My mind see something that scares me. Guess what? Love chemistry is not going to be released from the brain in fear.

When I see something I love, I want to take it in and grow. When I see something that scares me, I want to wall it off and protect myself. What’s the point? The behavior and the genetics of the cell were not controlled by the genes. That is a belief that we have heard our whole life. Genes turn on and genes turn off and control our lives and therefore, I don’t control them, they control me.

Here’s the problem, while I was doing that work forty-eight years ago, it reveal the genes did not activate themselves. The genes were controlled by the environmental information. If you change that environmental information, you change the genetic activity. Relevance? If genes control your life which is what I was teaching medical student, you’re a victim. I didn’t picked the genes, they gave me cancer, they gave me heart attacks. I had nothing to do with it. I’m a victim. The new Science almost sounds the same as the old Science because the old Science is called genetic control which means control by genes. The new Science which I saw forty-eight years ago but was only recently named in 1990s so I was twenty years before they even saw it. The new Science is called epigenetic control so it sounds the same. It’s a revolution. “Epi” means above, so when I say genetic control, I’m saying control by genes, you’re a victim of your genes. When I say epigenetic control, that’s the new Science that says control above, epi, control above the genes.

About the Author

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.

Dr. Lipton has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and is currently a sought after keynote speaker and workshop presenter. He lectures to conventional and complementary medical professionals and lay audiences about leading-edge science and how it dovetails with mind-body medicine and spiritual principles. His books include:

2005 The Biology of Belief – Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles
2006 The Wisdom of Your Cells – How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology
2009 Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There from Here
2013 The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth

Bruce Lipton, Ph D Epigenetics The science of Human Empowerment


The common idea that DNA determines so much of who we are — not only our eye or hair color, for example, but also our addictions, disorders, or susceptibility to cancer — is a misconception. This concept “says you are less powerful than your genes.”

The problem with that belief system is that it extends to another level … You find yourself to be more or less a victim of your heredity. You become irresponsible. You say, “I can’t do anything about it, so why try?”

In reality, a person’s perception, not genetic programming, is what spurs all action in the body. It is actually our beliefs that select our genes, that select our behavior.

The human body is comprised of 50 to 65 trillion cells. Cell functions independent of DNA and its perceptions of environmental stimuli affect DNA. This also applies the same principles to the human body as a whole, showing the power our perceptions, our beliefs, have over DNA.

5-Step Explanation

1.The cell is like a human body and it functions without DNA

The cell is like a human body. It is capable of respiration, digestion, reproduction, and other life functions. The nucleus, which contains the genes, has traditionally been viewed as the control center — the brain of the cell.

Yet, when the nucleus is removed, the cell continues with all of its life functions and it can still recognize toxins and nutrients. It appears the nucleus — and the DNA it contains — does not control the cell.

Scientists assumed some 50 years ago that genes control biology. It just seemed so correct, we bought the story. We don’t have the right assumptions.

2. DNA is controlled by the environment

Proteins carry out the functions in cells and they are building blocks of life. It has long been thought that DNA controls or determines the actions of proteins.

Here I propose a different model. Environmental stimuli that come into contact with the cell membrane are perceived by receptor proteins in the membrane. This sets off a chain reaction of proteins passing on what could be described as messages to other proteins, motivating action in the cell.

DNA is coated in a protective sleeve of protein. The environmental signals act on that protein, causing it to open up and to select certain genes for use — genes specifically needed to react to the current environment.

Basically, DNA is not the beginning of the chain reaction. Instead, the cell membrane’s perception of the environment is the first step.

If there are no perceptions, the DNA is inactive.

Genes can’t turn themselves on or off … they can’t control themselves. If a cell is cut off from any environmental stimuli, it doesn’t do anything. Life is due to how the cell responds to the environment.

3. Perception of the environment is not necessarily the reality of the environment

In a 1988 study done by John Cairns, published in the journal Nature titled “The Origin of Mutants,” he showed that mutations in DNA were not random, but happened in a predetermined way in response to environmental stresses.

In every one of your cells, you have genes whose function it is to rewrite and adapt genes as necessary. In a chart illustrating Cairns findings in the journal, environmental signals were shown to be separate from the organism’s perception of environmental signals.

A being’s perception of the environment acts as a filter between the reality of the environment and the biological reaction to it.

Perception rewrites genes!

4. Human beliefs, choosing to perceive a positive or negative environment

Just as a cell has receptor proteins to perceive the environment outside the cell membrane, humans have the five senses.

These are what help a person determine which genes need to be activated for a given situation.

The genes are like programs on a computer disk. These programs can be divided into two classes: the first relates to growth, or reproduction; the second relates to protection.

When a cell encounters nutrients, the growth genes are activated and used. When a cell encounters toxins, the protection genes are activated and used.

When a human being encounters love, the growth genes are activated. When a human being encounters fear, the protection genes are activated.

A person may perceive a negative environment where there is actually a supportive or positive environment. When this negative perception activates the protection genes, the body’s response is the programmed “fight or flight.”

5. ‘Fight or Flight’

Blood flow is directed away from the vital organs to the limbs, which are used for fighting and running. The immune system becomes of lesser importance. If you picture the responses we once needed for running from a lion, for example, the legs would have been infinitely more important in that immediate situation than the immune system. Thus, the body favors the legs and neglects the immune system.

So, when a person perceives a negative environment, the body tends to neglect the immune system and vital organs. Stress also makes us less intelligent, less clear-minded. The part of the brain related to reflexes is given more prominence in fight or flight mode than the part related to memory and other mental functions.

When a person perceives a loving environment, the body activates growth genes and nurtures the body.

For example, in Eastern European orphanages where children are given lots of nutrients, but little love these types of institutions have found to have stunted development in terms of height, learning, and other areas. There is also a high incidence of autism. Autism in this case is a symptom of protection genes being activated, like walls being put up.

Beliefs act as a filter between the real environment and your biology. Thus, people have the power to change their biology. It is important to keep a clear perception because otherwise you won’t develop the right things biologically for the real environment around you.

You are not victims of genes. What beliefs are you choosing for your genes to be expressed?

Please note: The above is a simplistic summary of “The Biology of Belief”. For more details, you may visit http://www.brucelipton.com

Previous article by Dr. Lipton:

The Human Genome – Perception Directly Controls Gene Activity

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.

Dr. Lipton has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and is currently a sought after keynote speaker and workshop presenter. He lectures to conventional and complementary medical professionals and lay audiences about leading-edge science and how it dovetails with mind-body medicine and spiritual principles. His books include:

2005 The Biology of Belief – Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles View Here
2006 The Wisdom of Your Cells – How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology
2009 Spontaneous Evolution: Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There from Here
2013 The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth

November 10, 2015
The authors of the New York Times bestseller Super Brain present a bold new understanding of our genes and how simple changes in lifestyle can boost genetic activity. The leap into “radical well-being” is a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

“You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with,” writes Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi. “You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.”

Learning how to shape your gene activity is at the heart of this exciting and eagerly-anticipated book from the bestselling duo behind Super Brain, View Here which became a nationwide hit on public television.

For decades medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they’ve become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago. The impact on prevention, immunity, diet, aging, and chronic disorders is unparalleled.

DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Two of his books, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (1993) and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (1995) have been recognized on The Books of The Century Bestsellers List. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, Assistant Clinical Professor, in the Family and Preventive Medicine Department at the University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences, Faculty at Walt Disney Imagineering and Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century” and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.” ​ ​The WorldPost and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Dr. Chopra #40 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.

DR. RUDOLPH E. TANZI, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology at Harvard University. He serves as the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Tanzi is a pioneer in studies aimed at identifying genes for neurological disease. He co-discovered all three genes that cause early-onset familial Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), including the first AD gene, and currently spearheads the Alzheimer’s Genome Project. He is also developing new therapies for treating and preventing AD based on his genetic discoveries. Dr. Tanzi was named to TIME magazine’s TIME 100 Most Influential People” for 2015, and to the list of Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni. He has also received the highly prestigious Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for his pioneering studies of Alzheimer’s disease. He is the co-author of the New York Times best seller Super Brain with Dr. Deepak Chopra, has professionally played keyboards with Joe Perry and Aerosmith, and is the host of Super Brain on public television.

An Introduction to Super Genes by Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi

Published on Oct 6, 2015

Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., the authors of the New York Times bestseller Super Brain, discuss their book Super Genes.

About Super Genes:

“You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with,” write Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi. “You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.”

Learning how to shape your gene activity is at the heart of this exciting and eagerly-anticipated book from the bestselling duo behind Super Brain, which became a nationwide hit on public television.

For decades medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they’ve become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago. The impact on prevention, immunity, diet, aging, and chronic disorders is unparalleled.

Learn more at http://www.chopra.com/book/super-genes.


Published on Aug 5, 2015

Bruce H. Lipton, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. Stem cell biologist, bestselling author of The Biology of Belief and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award, he has been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, as well as keynote presenter for national and international conferences.

Dr. Lipton began his scientific career as a cell biologist. He received his Ph.D. Degree from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville before joining the Department of Anatomy at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine in 1973. Dr. Lipton’s research on muscular dystrophy, studies employing cloned human stem cells, focused upon the molecular mechanisms controlling cell behavior. An experimental tissue transplantation technique developed by Dr. Lipton and colleague Dr. Ed Schultz and published in the journal Science was subsequently employed as a novel form of human genetic engineering.

In 1982, Dr. Lipton began examining the principles of quantum physics and how they might be integrated into his understanding of the cell’s information processing systems. He produced breakthrough studies on the cell membrane, which revealed that this outer layer of the cell was an organic homologue of a computer chip, the cell’s equivalent of a brain. His research at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, between 1987 and 1992, revealed that the environment, operating though the membrane, controlled the behavior and physiology of the cell, turning genes on and off. His discoveries, which ran counter to the established scientific view that life is controlled by the genes, presaged one of today’s most important fields of study, the science of epigenetics. Two major scientific publications derived from these studies defined the molecular pathways connecting the mind and body. Many subsequent papers by other researchers have since validated his concepts and ideas.

Dr. Lipton’s novel scientific approach transformed his personal life as well. His deepened understanding of cell biology highlighted the mechanisms by which the mind controls bodily functions, and implied the existence of an immortal spirit. He applied this science to his personal biology, and discovered that his physical well-being improved, and the quality and character of his daily life was greatly enhanced.

Dr. Lipton has taken his award-winning medical school lectures to the public and is currently a sought after keynote speaker and workshop presenter. He lectures to conventional and complementary medical professionals and lay audiences about leading-edge science and how it dovetails with mind-body medicine and spiritual principles. He has been heartened by anecdotal reports from hundreds of former audience members who have improved their spiritual, physical and mental well being by applying the principles he discusses in his lectures. He is regarded as one of the leading voices of the new biology. Dr Lipton’s work summarizing his findings, entitled The Biology of Belief, (Hay House Publishing, 202 pages, $25, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-4019-2311-2). His new book, Spontaneous Evolution, Our Positive Future and a Way to Get There From Here, (Hay House Publishing, ISBN 978-1-4019-2580-2) is available now.

This new updated and expanded 10th anniversary edition of The Biology of Belief will forever change how you think about your own thinking. Stunning new scientific discoveries about the biochemical effects of the brain’s functioning show that all the cells of your body are affected by your thoughts.

It has been ten years since the publication of The Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton’s seminal book on the relationship between mind and body that changed the way we think about our lives, our health, and our planet. During that time, research in this field has grown exponentially —Lipton’s groundbreaking experiments have now been endorsed by more than a decade of rigorous scientific study.

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a renowned cell biologist, describes the precise molecular pathways through which this occurs. Using simple language, illustrations, humor, and everyday examples, he demonstrates how the new science of epigenetics is revolutionizing our understanding of the link between mind and matter, and the profound effects it has on our personal lives and the collective life of our species.

In this greatly expanded edition, Lipton, a former medical school professor and research scientist, explores his own experiments and those of other leading-edge scientists that have unraveled in ever greater detail how truly connected the mind, body, and spirit are. It is now widely recognized that genes and DNA do not control our biology. Instead, they are controlled by signals from outside the cell, including energetic messages emanating from our thoughts.

This profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics puts the power to create a healthy, joyous life back in our own hands. When we transform our conscious and subconscious thoughts, we transform our lives, and in the process help humanity evolve to a new level of understanding and peace.

Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., a pioneer in the new biology, is an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit. A cell biologist by training, Bruce was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and later performed groundbreaking stem-cell research at Stanford University. He is the best-selling author of The Biology of Belief and received the 2009 prestigious Goi Peace Award (Japan) in honor of his scientific contribution to world harmony. Website: http://www.brucelipton.com

The Biology of Belief – Table of Contents & Chapter 1

Dr. Bruce Lipton delivers one of the most important messages you will ever hear

Published on Jan 23, 2015

THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF: UNLEASHING THE POWER OF CONSCIOUSNESS, MATTER & MIRACLES:
The Biology of Belief is a groundbreaking work in the field of new biology. Author Dr. Bruce H. Lipton is a former medical school professor and research scientist. His experiments, and those of other leading-edge scientists, have examined in great detail the mechanisms by which cells receive and process information. The implications of this research radically change our understanding of life. It shows that genes and DNA do not control our biology; that instead DNA is controlled by signals from outside the cell, including the energetic messages emanating from our positive and negative thoughts.

Dr. Liptons’s profoundly hopeful synthesis of the latest and best research in cell biology and quantum physics is being hailed as a major breakthrough, showing that our bodies can be changed as we retrain our thinking. Full information from Dr. Lipton’s website can be found here … https://www.brucelipton.com

I think Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda would say that our DNA is the physical manifestation of our karma. In other words, we have the genetic material that best fits the karma we need to work out in this particular lifetime.

Q: Peter, this interview covers genetics, karma, and the physical and mental health implications of recent genetic research. Before I ask a few questions, is there anything you’d like to say as an introduction to our discussion of genetics?

PVH: Yes. With science’s latest understanding of genetics, we are experiencing a phenomenon similar to the change in our understanding of how the brain functions. In the early 1980s most neuroscientists thought that by age 22, our brain stopped changing. Now we know the brain is very changeable, and that there are specific things we can do to change it in positive ways.

Our understanding of genetics is headed in a similar direction. Up until the early 1990s, we thought we couldn’t change our genetic make-up. We knew we could damage it, for example, by excessive exposure to x-rays, but the prevailing viewpoint was that we could not bring about positive changes in our genes.

We now understand there’s wide changeability in how genes function, and new hope for people with genetically-based diseases like diabetes, certain cancers, cardiovascular ailments, and mental health disorders.

DNA and the Human Genome Project

Q: I understand that in the field of genetics, the most important project in recent years was the Human Genome Project. Can you tell us a little about this project and what it accomplished?

PVH: Yes. The Human Genome Project, sponsored by the National Institute of Health and completed in 2002, was a 12-year herculean effort, involving more than 2000 scientists, to identify and “map” all the genes in a human being. The project identified each and every one of the millions of molecules that make up the human “genome” – all the chromosomes, genes, and related molecules.

Q: Can you explain exactly what the human “genome” is and how it differs, if at all, from our DNA?

PVH: Taken together, all our chromosomes, genes, and related molecules are known as our “genome,” but they are commonly referred to as our “DNA.”

Q: Are you saying, then, that “DNA” and “genome” are synonymous terms?

PVH: Yes. Scientifically it would be clearer if we said “genome,” but most people usually say “DNA” when referring to the genome.

Q: Is it true there are around 20,500 genes in the human genome?

PVH: Yes, and from those 20,500 genes, we end up with a 100 trillion body cells! Interestingly, only a portion of those 20,500 genes actually do any work that we have verified. We have a lot of genetic material that is fallow and, as yet, we don’t know why it’s there.

Karma: “the DNA of our soul?”

Q: An issue important to most devotees is the relationship between our genetic make-up and our karma. David Frawley, a leading Vedic astrologer, suggests that we think of our karma as “the DNA of our soul.”

PVH: Comparing karma to DNA is useful, but I think Paramhansa Yogananda or Swami Kriyananda would have put it differently and said that our DNA is the physical manifestation of our karma. In other words, we have the genetic material that best fits the karma we need to work out in this particular lifetime.

What is especially interesting is that the same behavior and methods that help us to mitigate difficult karma can also bring about helpful changes in the functioning of our genes. These kinds of behavior-induced genetic changes are the subject of a developing new field known as “epigenetics.”

Q: This is very encouraging. I will be asking you a number of questions about epigenetics later in this interview.

Important medical advances

Q: I understand that one of the main achievements of the Human Genome Project was the identification of genes that reflect predispositions to certain diseases. Is that correct?

PVH: Yes. As an example, we can now identify the gene which indicates a predisposition to certain female cancers, particularly ovarian and breast cancer. It’s known as the BRCA gene (pronounced “Bricka”). Science has also identified the single gene that causes hemochromatosis, a disease of the liver, commonly known as “iron overload.” We can also now directly test for the “genetic signature” for other diseases, although the tests are expensive.

Our new understanding of genetics has also enabled us to identify the most effective medications for various psychiatric disorders. Based on the patient’s genetics, we can now create a panel of medications that are most likely to work, and also identify those it would be best to avoid. In my medical practice we are now ordering these panels for our patients whenever they don’t respond well to standard medications.

Genetic information documenting a person’s risk of other diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s are also readily available, but the protocols are not routinely used because multiple genes can be involved, which would make the protocols very expensive. The cost will undoubtedly go down in time, and eventually a person will be able to carry his or her entire genetic history on a little flash drive. I don’t think we’re many years away from realizing that possibility.

Epigenetics: the overlap of karma and genetics

Q: What is the science of epigenetics?

PVH: Epigenetics is the study of why, in the course of an individual’s lifetime, certain genes are activated or turned on, while others are repressed or turned off. Diseases like asthma, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s can run in families, because the genes are heritable. But just because someone has a genetic predisposition to a certain illness doesn’t mean that those genes will necessarily be activated in his or her lifetime. All the siblings in a family may have inherited a gene for asthma, but it may well be that only one person in the family actually develops asthma.

We’ve already mentioned the BRCA gene which indicates a predisposition to certain kinds of female cancers. In one widely studied situation, 35 members of a family all inherited the gene, but not every family member developed cancer. So one of the questions explored in the field of epigenetics is this: why do certain genes get activated in some family members but not in others?

Q: What have we learned to date?

PVH: Research has shown that certain external influences such as diet, hormones, social environment, heavy metals, pesticides and other toxins can exert a permanent effect on whether a specific gene is activated or not. Similarly, maintaining a positive attitude, exercising regularly and meditating have all been shown to have beneficial effects on our genetic material.

Q: Are you saying that right living and a positive, healthful environment can influence whether a potentially harmful gene gets turned on, or possibly even turned off?

PVH: Yes. And, amazingly, the turned-off gene gets passed on to our offspring in that new more helpful state!

Q: Would you say, then, that our ability to bring about genetic changes depends on some, if not most, of the same factors that enable us to modify our karma?

PVH: Yes. Just as our karma is changeable, depending on our attitudes and environment, so also are our genetics. A person might have a genetic predisposition for asthma, but if he or she exercises regularly, does not smoke, and avoids potent allergens – he or she may not end up with asthma.

Similarly, those who fear they may carry genetic predispositions for illnesses such as heart disease or Alzheimer’s should take seriously the need for lifestyle changes, such as managing stress levels and avoiding high-risk factors like smoking and excessive drinking. Those lifestyle changes would also include positive practices such as exercising regularly and meditating, which have been shown to have a positive effect on our genetic material.

Q: What you are saying, then, is that by right living and positive environment we can turn a harmful gene off?

PVH: Yes. We are now able to turn off some of these unhelpful genes simply by changing lifestyle.

Q: I understand that there’s a great deal of epigenetic research on how lifestyle affects the genes that cause Type 2 diabetes?

PVH: Yes. Science is showing that epigenetics is of major significance for Type 2 diabetes. The research is helping people understand how they developed this condition, and includes anything new in how lifestyle affects it.

The dilemma is that at least 100 genes are probably involved in causing diabetes. What medical science is now able to do, however, is lower the risk of those genes expressing. Through lifestyle changes we can now make some of these genes turn off permanently, thus lowering someone’s risk for the disease.

NR: That’s a very important advance.

PVH: Yes, it is.

Behavioral traits: can we turn these genes off?
Q: We’ve learned through genetic research that not only are physical diseases heritable but so also are human behavioral traits such as alcoholism, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Is there any research into how to lower the risk of these genes turning on and expressing?

PVH: Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project, has actually written about this question. He said that although many human behavioral traits are heritable, because multiple genes are involved, no single gene is strongly predictive. Moreover, not only are multiple genes involved, but many non-genetic factors – environment, especially, childhood experiences, and individual free will – can have a major effect on whether the behavioral trait manifests in a person.

Thus, if one of our parents is bipolar, and we inherit those genes, there is an increased likelihood of us being bipolar. However, our childhood environment and experiences will have an important effect on whether or not those “bipolar” genes actually get turned on.

Another possible scenario is that as an adult, we may suddenly manifest a behavioral trait that our parents didn’t have. Our parents may have had the same genetic risks, but because of our upbringing and other factors, those genes were turned on in us.

Looking to the future

Q: What do you see as likely future developments in the area of genetics?

PVH: I think there will be better targeted treatments based on our improved understanding of how the genome actually functions. For example, we know that the ability of our genome to accurately reproduce itself every time our cells divide to make new cells has an impact on our quality and quantity of life.

As we age, our genetic material’s ability to replicate perfectly becomes increasingly impaired. This is one reason people tend to develop more physical and mental health problems as they grow older. If we’re living a very healthy lifestyle, there is a better chance that our genetic material will accurately reproduce itself as we make new cells.

Two, as discussed, there’s the growing new field of epigenetics, which is helping us understand how genes turn on and off, and how a good lifestyle can effect positive change in a gene’s function.

Three, we actually have some free will, some choice, in how we’re going to turn out as human beings. Our inherited DNA at birth is just our starting point. We know now that there are many genes that are reactive to our life experience. If we have unhelpful genes, we shouldn’t always consider ourselves permanently handicapped. It would be more accurate to see ourselves and our DNA patterns as a “work in progress.”

What we’ve learned from the Human Genome Project and subsequent discoveries is that we shouldn’t feel limited by our DNA, our genetic material. Here is yet another example that we have control over our destiny.

******

Peter Van Houten lives at Ananda Village and is the founder and Medical Director of Sierra Family Medical Clinic near Ananda Village. He frequently lectures and writes on the brain and other “yoga and science” topics.

Source: © 2014 Clarity Magazine

Published on May 2, 2014

Deepak Chopra, physician and best-selling author, and Rudy Tanzi, Harvard Medical School professor, spoke with Kathleen Miles, senior editor of The WorldPost, at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills.

Do We Inherit Our Parents’ Experiences?

Physician and best-selling author Deepak Chopra has an empowering message: You can actually modify your own genes through your actions and behaviors.

“We are literally metabolizing something as ephemeral as experience or even meaning,” Chopra said in an interview this week at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “If somebody says to me, ‘I love you,’ and I’m in love with them, I suddenly feel great, and I make things like oxytocin and dopamine, serotonin, opiates. And if someone says to me, ‘I love you,’ and I’m really thinking they’re manipulating me, I don’t make the same thing. I make cortisol and adrenaline.”

If certain experiences happen enough times, they can affect how genes are expressed and packaged without altering DNA, said Harvard Medical School professor Rudy Tanzi. This phenomenon, called epigenetics, is gaining increasing popularity among scientists.

“Every experience will cause chemical changes in your body and in your brain, and those chemical changes will then cause genetic changes,” said Tanzi, who recently co-authored the book Super Brain with Chopra. “If those genetic changes occur often enough and with persistence, that can lead to modification of those genes such that they react the same way in the future because they’ve been trained.”

Though not a typical outcome, there have been reports of such modifications being passed onto subsequent generations, in what’s known as transgenerational epigenetic evolution.

For example, Tanzi said, a study published in December in the journal Nature Neuroscience reported that mice inherit smell memories from their fathers — even when the offspring have never met their father or experienced the smell themselves. The study also found that the third generation of mice was born with the same smell memory.

“If you had told me that five years ago, I would’ve said it’s science fiction,” Tanzi said, referring to transgenerational epigenetic evolution. “When you talk about this stuff, the conservative evolutionary biologists, the Darwinians, will come out and attack you.”

While scientists have found evidence for epigenetic changes that are passed down in mice and water fleas, Tanzi noted that there is only circumstantial evidence for the phenomenon occurring in humans.

Still, he emphasized that the connection between our actions and our genes is clear.

“The brain is not static. It’s dynamic. It’s changing all the time,” Tanzi said. “And you’re in charge of how it changes.”

~ Kathleen.Miles@huffingtonpost.com


Dr. Deepak Chopra, “The Poet Prophet of Alternative Medicine,” shares a vision for what the past, the present and the future of well being might be.

Author Dawson Church applies the insights of the new field of Epigenetics (epi=above, i.e. control above the level of the gene) to healing. Citing hundreds of scientific studies, he shows how beliefs and emotions can trigger the expression of DNA strands. He focuses on a class of genes called Immediate Early Genes or IEGs. These genes turn on within a few seconds of a stimulus. They can be triggered by thoughts or emotions (“I loved that unexpected gift of roses Bill gave me” or “I’m so mad about what Uncle John said at the Christmas party”). Many IEGs are regulatory genes turn on other genes that affect specific aspects of our immune system, such as the production of white blood cells that destroy attacking bacteria and viruses.

Epigenetics thus influences our health every day.He coins the new term “Epigenetic Medicine” to describe healing techniques with epigenetic effects. He also summarizes the science behind the infant fields of Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine, both of which offer promising epigenetic medical therapies.


Dawson Church, PhD, is an award-winning author whose best-selling book, The Genie in Your Genes, has been hailed as a breakthrough in the field of epigenetics. He has published numerous scientific papers, with a focus on the remarkable self-healing mechanisms now emerging at the intersection of emotion and gene expression. He applies these breakthroughs to health and athletic performance through EFT Universe.com, which is one of the largest alternative medicine sites on the web.

He was educated at Baylor University and Holos University, where he earned his doctorate under the tuition of Harvard-trained neurosurgeon Norm Shealy, MD, PhD, with whom he co-authored Soul Medicine: Awakening Your Inner Blueprint for Abundant Health and Energy. He is editor emeritus of the peer-reviewed journal Energy Psychology: Theory, Research & Treatment, and founded the nonprofit Soul Medicine Institute to research and train practitioners in energy psychology. He works with businesses and sports teams to achieve peak performance; he no longer accepts private clients but instead refers them to the certified practitioners at EFT Universe.

Click here to browse inside.

Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention – Dawson Church

The Biology of Belief: An Interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton
View HERE


Published on Jun 11, 2013
http://www.brucelipton.com

The power of belief has profound effects on our behavior and genetic expression. Research in the field of Behavioral Epigenetics provides insight into how we can become empowered, and rise to the level of being master of our lives. Angelina Jolie’s recent public disclosure of her double mastectomy raises concern about the methods through which we choose to heal.

View HERE on Bruce Lipon’s Biology of Belief.

AND HERE on Anita Moorjani’s Dying To Be Me


Biology stands on the brink of a shift in the understanding of inheritance. The discovery of epigenetics hidden influences upon the genes could affect every aspect of our lives.

At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea that genes have a ‘memory’. That the lives of your grandparents the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself. And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren.

The conventional view is that DNA carries all our heritable information and that nothing an individual does in their lifetime will be biologically passed to their children. To many scientists, epigenetics amounts to a heresy, calling into question the accepted view of the DNA sequence a cornerstone on which modern biology sits.

Epigenetics adds a whole new layer to genes beyond the DNA. It proposes a control system of ‘switches’ that turn genes on or off and suggests that things people experience, like nutrition and stress, can control these switches and cause heritable effects in humans.

In a remote town in northern Sweden there is evidence for this radical idea. Lying in Överkalix’s parish registries of births and deaths and its detailed harvest records is a secret that confounds traditional scientific thinking. Marcus Pembrey, a Professor of Clinical Genetics at the Institute of Child Health in London, in collaboration with Swedish researcher Lars Olov Bygren, has found evidence in these records of an environmental effect being passed down the generations. They have shown that a famine at critical times in the lives of the grandparents can affect the life expectancy of the grandchildren. This is the first evidence that an environmental effect can be inherited in humans.

In other independent groups around the world, the first hints that there is more to inheritance than just the genes are coming to light. The mechanism by which this extraordinary discovery can be explained is starting to be revealed.

Professor Wolf Reik, at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, has spent years studying this hidden ghost world. He has found that merely manipulating mice embryos is enough to set off ‘switches’ that turn genes on or off.

For mothers like Stephanie Mullins, who had her first child by in vitro fertilisation, this has profound implications. It means it is possible that the IVF procedure caused her son Ciaran to be born with Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome a rare disorder linked to abnormal gene expression. It has been shown that babies conceived by IVF have a three- to four-fold increased chance of developing this condition.

And Reik’s work has gone further, showing that these switches themselves can be inherited. This means that a ‘memory’ of an event could be passed through generations. A simple environmental effect could switch genes on or off and this change could be inherited.

His research has demonstrated that genes and the environment are not mutually exclusive but are inextricably intertwined, one affecting the other.

The idea that inheritance is not just about which genes you inherit but whether these are switched on or off is a whole new frontier in biology. It raises questions with huge implications, and means the search will be on to find what sort of environmental effects can affect these switches.

After the tragic events of September 11th 2001, Rachel Yehuda, a psychologist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, studied the effects of stress on a group of women who were inside or near the World Trade Center and were pregnant at the time. Produced in conjunction with Jonathan Seckl, an Edinburgh doctor, her results suggest that stress effects can pass down generations. Meanwhile research at Washington State University points to toxic effects like exposure to fungicides or pesticides causing biological changes in rats that persist for at least four generations.
Part 3 of 5 – The Ghost in your Genes – BBC Horizon

This work is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in scientific thinking. It will change the way the causes of disease are viewed, as well as the importance of lifestyles and family relationships. What people do no longer just affects themselves, but can determine the health of their children and grandchildren in decades to come. “We are,” as Marcus Pembrey says, “all guardians of our genome.”

Part 4 of 5 – The Ghost in your Genes – BBC Horizon

Part 5 of 5 – The Ghost in your Genes – BBC Horizon

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