Genetics and Surroundings

“The existence of a particular human being tells a lot about his previous generation’s life aspects. He himself is the part of that generation and carry some genes from his father’s generation and some from his mother’s. The blend of two gave birth to a new kind of generation.” That’s what the father of geneticsMendel said more than a century ago.

A gene is the part of the DNA, which gives instructions to the body cells that what type of molecules, called ‘proteins’ to produce in the body. These proteins are responsible for the influence of the inherited traits (i.e. hair color). The DNA is present within every single cell of the human body. It is the inherited material present in every living organism. In a special order, all the things can be described as – Human Cell – Nucleus – DNA – Chromosomes.

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Genes are passed on from generation to generation by the process of reproduction. They are the specific area of the DNA in the chromosome, which has a special code made up of four chemical bases: Adenine (A), Guanine (G), Cytosine (C), and Thymine (T). This code commands all the cells of the body that to which protein they have to form. As the genes are inherited, that’s why a big part of an individual’s life is influenced by the mixture of genes from two different generations. The facial expressions, behavior, sensory organs, the way of talking, any physical activity or any special habit may pass on through the chromosomes carrying genes.

Genetics is complicated with its mechanism. It becomes more twisted when the ‘thought process’ is also found to be same as to the predecessor. In genetic term, it is called ‘Cognitive Function’ and it is also inherited from the parents. If the cognitive function is the same, the decisions and the actions regarding anything would also be. This is because of the transfer of the genes responsible for thinking and related to ethics and moral values. They produce the same kind of commands to the cells in the produced organism. Thus, it can be considered that the genetics affect all the aspects of an individual’s life including thinking, decision making power, thought process and attitude towards life. Due to the same mind mapping, the way of handling life situations also remains similar to the past generation, but with an exception. Even though the human cells are sovereign in the process of the creation of any living body, but the role of the surrounding milieu cannot be neglected as the brain will collect the information from the surroundings.

The Disconnected Mind team from Age UK studies the effect of genetic and environmental influences on the cognitive function. They found that the cognitive function is highly influenced by the environment factor, nearly 76%. The rest is due to the genetics. The encompassing atmosphere is the second most vital factor in the development of the creature. Excluding the weather conditions, it is referring to the surrounding community, people, society, lifestyle of people, infrastructure and buildings, nature views, cultures, traditions, believes, social practices and activities. A living organism, specifically a human being is an interactive mammal and likes to communicate with his peers and the quality of thinking of his peers makes a great difference in his all aspects of life. Through interaction, a person comes to know about the other person’s thinking and viewpoints. So the exchange of thoughts takes place between them. Furthermore, when a serious interaction takes place, the mind gives its full attention to the conversation to observe the information, and where the attention, mind, and observation met, the information is automatically stored into the brain and the brain starts to revise it whilst the mind contemplates on it.

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The thinking itself is also based on the surrounding atmosphere of people and the factors like culture belongs to the people, tradition they follow, beliefs they have and their lifestyle. It is obvious that it will affect the person’s mind according to its origin. It may be negative or it may be positive. For instance, the origin of thinking of illiterate people is the undeveloped origin and have a limited and small type of thinking. If a human resides in the origin like this, he’s more likely to adopt the qualities of the dwellers of the community.

However, the genetic code of the DNA once formed, can never be changed but they are not tended to produce the same proteins for which they are responsible all the time. They can switch on and off the function during the life cycle, which is called gene regulation. Because of this, thinking and ideologies of the cohabitants can put a strong impact on one’s DNA code but they cannot change it. So they tend the DNA to stop producing the same protein molecules and create molecules with different structures probably similar to the society people’s proteins. This could result in the complete transformation of the psychological, philosophical and moral character of a human mind. When it comes to the question that what influences the gene regulation, a relatively new branch of biomedical science is introduced called ‘epigenetics’. The branch is thriving steeply by research programs like ‘The Disconnected Mind’ and the other research teams but they know that switching is done by chemical modification to the DNA. ‘Methylation’, in which methyl groups are combined with the genes is the only modification of DNA known yet.

According to my own ideology, the structure of forming proteins after the dweller’s migration in his body is identical to the protein molecules of those people who are inhibiting on the place, where the individual migrated. I restate it as a ‘Theory of  cognitive functions in Epigenetics’ as, “After migration from one place to another, the DNA code starts to instruct the body cells in the same way in which the cohabitants’ cells instructed and it produces the same protein structure identical to them.”  This theory is only applicable to the environmental influences on the cognitive functions, not on the inherited physical traits (i.e. eyes, hair, color). According to this theory, it can also be observed that the interaction with the different type of people in day to day life might be the reason of gene regulation and responsible for the transformation of the genital code of DNA. I have an example to simplify this theory in detail below.

Consider a person from a generation that has an undeveloped or rarely exploited origin of the noble thinking and attitudes. Let’s assume that at the age of 12 or 13, he moved from the location where he’s been residing with his family. After the migration, the people and the ambiance around him also have changed which initiates the process of transformation of cells. Let’s say they are more optimistic and wiser than the past community. Now obviously he will interact with the society in his day to day life, but here the information has been changed. The mind is observing just like in the same way, but he has now some unacquainted things to observe. The theory is simple and straight now. The revision and repetition tend to continue in the same fashion but access the different practices, which results in the switching of gene functions without actually changing the genes themselves according to the observation from the surroundings. This process alters the inherited thinking with the thinking of society in which he migrated. With the change in place of living and society, the change in DNA code and the protein structures also takes place in the body, further the transformation of the thoughts and attitudes. Similarly, if a person is kept away from any human society in a place like forests, then the chances are that his lifestyle will be more like the troglodyte.

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In addition to this, people have already been dwelling in that area might have only the permanent genes, that is the gene regulation do not occur in their DNAs. But this could be possible that once the gene regulation occurred in their forefathers when they would have changed their place of living and become a part of that community where their descendants are living in today. Possibly their gene codes themselves totally would have transformed and started to produce the completely new gene functions with the period of time. This could only be considered if the above theory proved to be right.

The impact of surroundings can also pierce the moral and spiritual traits like honesty, patience, understanding and so on. An honest father’s son could be wicked and selfish or vice versa. It depends that what he observes the most around him, especially during his childhood. Not only observation, but it is also important that how much the information mesmerizes or fascinates him and how much he revises the information because the impact is created by the revision.

If a thing is reiterated by people around the habitat place, it urges the mind to give attention to it and it also builds a pressure. As a result, the word of people is considered important by the mind and people start to dominate over him. Then, the decisions start to influence by the opinion of people and the things become more complicated. That’s why it is highly recommended that we should not give priority to the people. Because the control over the mind is prior and that control must be of our own.

The ambiance of the surroundings gives birth to new codes in the DNAs. A lot of revision of a practice develops a new trait permanently and it gets transferred to the next generations as well. Thus the habitat atmosphere affects the present hereditary genes’ functions and also switch them with new functions. This may be one of the consequential reason for diversity in the generations evolved from the similar origin.

Apart from including the whole atmosphere, a very small activity, thing or word could also have a huge significance in the evolution of the genealogy. In some cases, the surrounding is as same as the previous family had, but still, the functions get influenced and transformed. It all involves the focus and attention of the mind and what ravishes him the most. The probability of happening this case is not too bright, but it is not completely impossible. The rate is pretty similar to the case of a four leaf clover, however not exact rate has been found yet.

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After probing this theory in such detail, it is clear that the atmosphere of habitat place is more dominant to change the lifestyle of an individual than his inherited genes. The production of cells is highly dependent on the surrounding environment of an individual. His thinking skills and approach towards life is also depends on the same factor. The theory if it proved as precise, could be applied to change the gene expressions not by any device or engineering, but simply by changing the surroundings and society in a much natural way. Epigenetics is a new approach to biomedical science. There’s a lot of concepts and theories yet to be revealed in this field. However, I believe that those concepts will also involve the major factor of outer bubble and surroundings which I consider the most impactful in the change in the functions of gene codes. One day, it will all be disclosed to us and hopefully this theory established as a true doctrine.

Thank you for reading!

B. M.

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