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Body and Self > Anatomy & Physiology > Genetics

A layman's guide to genetics

Scientists are still working to understand our DNA and how genetics works. While many scientists are doing this work with due diligence and open minds. Some have predetermined outcomes which frustrates them so much that they have called the DNA that as yet has no obvious or defined function as 'rubbish DNA'.

So let us cast this attitude aside and understand that our DNA is our genetic profile and is the root of our physicality and worldly abilities. But scientists recently learned that our DNA is not fixed, in fact, feathers, changeable, thereby allowing us to adapt to changes in our environment, be it temperature, altitude or even food source.

In this series of videos, learn about your genes, DNA and heredity.

Dr Alice Roberts in her presentation about DNA explained how the Sherpa people of Nepal have adapted to living at high altitude and earthworms adapted to living in a highly toxic environment.

Other research work has shown that when we exercise vigorously for four or five minutes, one of the genomes that influences our health undergoes a slight molecular change and for a a few hours afterwards feeds the bodywork genetic information for the body to be healthier and fitter. It is thought by adaptation that regular exercise will result in a permanent change to that genome so that the health of the individual becomes permanently improved and that this trait will be passed on to subsequent offspring.

Our current crisis

Many scientists today are a little worried about our long-term future as with our modern living, good hygiene and the reduction of environmental pathogens, we may be creating our own genetic weakness and ground for massive population loss as we are becoming less able to defeat many modern pathogens that are becoming established in the world.

Variations in human DNA called SNPs, and
how they can be used to understand relationships between people. A link to part
3 should appear in the video window.

Designer babies

This is not only possible, it is actually being done in laboratories around the world were the sex of a soon to be child is chosen, but not only that there is the potential to decide. eye colour, intelligence and physique. Most reputable laboratories, follow social guidelines in this work, but no doubt there are some mad scientists pushing this new science beyond sociably acceptable limits.

This may indeed be the way of our future as the human species as we know it is heading towards its own extinction through increased infertility and the destruction of our habitat and our increasing consumption of an entirely man-made products.

Dr Alice Roberts


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