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CarbonRobot CarbonRobot
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Posts: 96
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2 months ago
How much does our DNA change over a lifetime? I think there might of been a study in 2008 that said maybe 20% in 18 years? If our DNA can change that rapidly how come we aren't giant tumors before 50? I'm told even small simple changes can do great harm.
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wrote...
Educator
2 months ago
I'm told even small simple changes can do great harm.

That's because it's true!

When discussing change, it's important to define what change means. How does the article define it? A reference to the article would be appreciated. What I think they're saying when referring to change is that your DNA gets modified with on-and-off switches, a field of genetics known as epigenetics. In addition, the telomere region of chromosomes do shorten with age. Scientists have determined that structures called telomeres, long, repetitive sequences of nucleotides at the end of chromosomes, affect the aging process. Each time a cell divides, telomeres become shorter. When the structures shorten to a certain length, the process of cell division terminates. The cells of these chromosomes continue to live, but they never divide again.

Does that clear things up?
wrote...
2 months ago
I'm told even small simple changes can do great harm.
That's because it's true! When discussing change, it's important to define what change means. How does the article define it? A reference to the article would be appreciated. What I think they're saying when referring to change is that your DNA gets modified with on-and-off switches, a field of genetics known as epigenetics. In addition, the telomere region of chromosomes do shorten with age. Scientists have determined that structures called telomeres, long, repetitive sequences of nucleotides at the end of chromosomes, affect the aging process. Each time a cell divides, telomeres become shorter. When the structures shorten to a certain length, the process of cell division terminates. The cells of these chromosomes continue to live, but they never divide again. Does that clear things up?

If we excluded epigenetics how much would you imagine our DNA changes within 20 years? I am more hopeful about epigenetics and the potential to reverse those changes with Yamanaka factors and other gene therapy methods currently being studied. But I haven't heard anything about reverting older DNA back to a youthful version. As far as I know that information is lost forever when it changes.
wrote...
Educator
2 months ago
I may sound ignorant here, but I can't see this happening. I know that DNA gets mutated all the time, but there are repair mechanisms built into the cell that repair the DNA if that ends up happening. If the cell somehow escapes these repairs, then it becomes cancerous and can spread - only then do you have cells that are technically mutated. If cells are damaged, they're pre-programmed to kill themselves -- called apoptosis. Do you still have that article? Maybe it'll give me a better understanding
wrote...
2 months ago
I may sound ignorant here, but I can't see this happening. I know that DNA gets mutated all the time, but there are repair mechanisms built into the cell that repair the DNA if that ends up happening. If the cell somehow escapes these repairs, then it becomes cancerous and can spread - only then do you have cells that are technically mutated. If cells are damaged, they're pre-programmed to kill themselves -- called apoptosis. Do you still have that article? Maybe it'll give me a better understanding

I don't have the link anymore. May not of been a good article. Who knows.
wrote...
Educator
2 months ago Edited: 2 months ago, bio_man
I may have found it here: https://genetics.thetech.org/original_news/news91

As I initially thought, the 20% worth of changes are epigenetic-based. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.
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