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Body and Self > Anatomy & Physiology > DNA

DNA or Deoxyribonucleic acid

DNA is often thought of as the blueprint of our own body that is passed in through our genes to our children. The science of genetics

  • Is the study of our DNA and Genes.
  • Tries to identify which features are inherited
  • Tries toáexplain how our features are passed from generation to generation and
  • Tries to explaináwhat our genes are they are and how they work.
You and I inherited our genes from our parents and so on back though history and to a certain extent, our genes determine how our children appear as they will inherit our genes. An understanding of our DNA indicates that our distant ancestors came out of Africa some 70,000 years ago.

áYes everyone - Chinese, European, American, Polynesian - everyone and yet we are all different. áDNA researchers have actually proved that many of us modern humans actually carry the DNA from our ancient ancestors such as the now extinct Neanderthal man.

Some scientists argue that DNA is stable and unchanging, if so, how do they explain our ethnic diversity. áA new theory contends that DNA is affected by diet, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, environmental and social stresses which changes the DNA and consequently we get many diverse changes in our evolution from small differences in appearance and to susceptibility to new diseases.

The video to the right discuses Genetics & The structure of DNA.

New research


Within each and every one of us, it seems that our DNA is fairly stable in that does not change very much over time. At least this is what science until now has been telling us, but new research conducted by European scientists has shown that DNA can be changed in a very short time.
  1. For instance, if a person has a genetic predisposition towards any particular physical or mental weakness and that person performs 20 minutes or more of vigorous exercise, that genetic element will be neutralised for a short time.
  2. Similarly, if a person switches to a Organic whole-food diet over a period of several weeks, it too will turn off negative genetic traits.
These two points have great significance for human health and reproduction. As these two activities, modify our DNA on a temporary basis, those traits will be passed on to any offspring. So if you are trying to conceive and want to raise healthy children with a lower disposition to any health problems that you have suffered in your life, then adopting a healthy diet and exercise plan prior to lovemaking may mean that your offspring are much healthier.

These results were first achieved using mice, the females were first fed an unhealthy diet and they produced babies with a predisposition toward poor health. Then they fed the same mice with a very healthy diet and their offspring this time were much healthier. The significance of this is that now we understand that we actually have some control over our DNA, as well as some control over the outcome of our offspring. áThis change however is temporary, áan hour or so after exercise, and within a few days of leaving a healthy diet, the degenerate conditions will áreturn.

Further reading
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Anatomy
Genetics
DNA
Musculoskeletal System
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 The femur
 The nervous system
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