Big Idea 2014: You Will Transform Your Own Biology

To date, one of biology’s greatest achievements, mapping the human genome, is only just beginning to translate into medical advances. But in 2014 there will likely be more headlines about another type of study in genetics that is already impacting everyone.

We are referring to a different aspect of our genome which radically revises a model that is decades old, dating back as far as the original discovery of DNA. In the original model, the effects of our genes were considered to be fixed and unchanging, controlling every aspect of our physical makeup, behavior, and susceptibility to disease. Not just eye color, height, and other physical characteristics were predetermined by inherited genes, but perhaps all kinds of behaviors, from criminality to belief in God.

The new model, however, portrays a more fluid, dynamic genome that responds quickly, even instantly, to all that we experience, including how you think, feel, speak, and act. Every day brings new evidence that the mind-body connection reaches right down to the activities of our genes. How this activity changes in response to our life experiences is referred to as “epigenetics”. Regardless of the nature of the genes we inherit from our parents, dynamic change at this level allows us almost unlimited influence on our fate.

Theories of evolution and genetics have long taught that genetic mutation is entirely random. However, genetics has been gradually stepping into a new era of “self-directed biological transformation,” a mouthful perhaps but with great significance in each word:

Self-directed = Voluntary activity in your thoughts, feelings, habits, and desires. This is the realm of personal choice.

Biological = Effects at every level of the mind-body system, including reactions by your genetic material.

Transformation = Major shifts in cellular activity leading to physiological changes.

This means that control is being given back to each person; we are no longer seen as puppets of our DNA. The human genome is set to be the stage for future evolution that we ourselves direct, making choice an integral part of genetics. This is in stark contrast to the “biology as destiny” view where genes override choice. Unless decisions, lifestyle, environment, and personal preferences are included, a full picture of the mysteries of our DNA cannot be attained.

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Source/Submitted by: Deepak Chopra MD, co-authored by Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D. - Published in LinkedIn.


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