Interesting read: Why nurture is just as important as nature for understanding genetics

Genes are truly becoming the new ‘brain’ in and outside education, it seems. But while some might think that this is a case for nature in the old debate, Claire Howarth explains this isn’t the case. The influence of genetics on our health and behaviour is not fixed but depends on complex interactions with the environment. 2 fragments to make you read the whole article:

“One of the most striking findings from genetics research is that the influence of genes isn’t fixed. Even though our DNA sequence remains the same, the impact our genes have on us can alter with age and with the different environments we experience. Epigenetics, where the environment can change the expression of a gene without changing DNA, is only a small part of a whole field of science looking at changes in heritability due to interactions between genes and environment.”

“One of the main mechanisms behind the increasing role of genetics as we get older is choice: we have more control overwhat we’re exposed to. We can choose whether to have a doughnut for lunch, whether to visit the library, or whether to cycle to work. These environments don’t just happen to us. To some extent we control, select and create our experiences and exposures. And because our genes can influence these choices too, we find ourselves in places and situations that in a sense draw out our genetic potential.”

And now, read on on Conversation.com.

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