Evolution Understanding has Evolved

My paraphrased theory of evolution basically says DNA is passed from parent to offspring and through various mutations the offspring may be more adaptable to the changing environment, allowing them to be more apt to survive. But more recently I have read articles about how offspring can also be altered based on parental behavior.

In fact a new field of epigenetics is focused on chemical changes which determine if a gene is expressed or not.

This article I discovered today is very interesting if you have an interest in science, genetics or evolution as it details the concept of a molecular memory of a parent’s experience. A few items of note are scientists have been able to alter the genes of worms to get them to live longer but offspring bred with non-mutated worms and no longer possessing the mutations still lived longer.

Basically it proves you can alter offspring through methods beyond mutations.

There is also a reference to a paper which shows the diet of a parent can change the offspring’s cholesterol and lipids. Moreover, parents eating high-fat diets made daughters fatter and gave them type 2 diabetes.

While this topic is not my usual area of focus – I have always found science fascinating and moreover, I can’t help but think that if the cost of healthcare is such a huge problem and it is in-part rising due to an ever-heavier population… Are we ever going to be able to bring the costs down if the next generation has to fight even harder to stay healthy and non-diabetic?

I realize I am making a leap between the mice in these studies and humans but casual observation shows that children generally have similar body types and fat percentages as their parents.

Hopefully epigenetics will be a field in-part responsible for bringing costs down by reducing the ability of unwanted genes to express themselves


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