Friday, March 11, 2016

Worth a Look ~ Epigenetics and the Science of Mothers Who Lick their Babies, A Bully, and Finding Your Way in a Faraway City


I've been fascinated with epigenetics the last few years.  This TED talk explains it well:

Basically, where we once thought the genes you had were the genes you were stuck with, it's now become clear that many environmental factors -- how your mother nurtured you, your diet, your mother's diet, and more can be a huge factor in which genes get expressed.  I find the whole thing fascinating.  The video above explains the Here are a few articles that explain it:

Don't blame grandma yet, but your asthma might be her fault

Epigenetics alters how our genes behave

How bees decide what to be.  This article talks about how the job a bee does determines its genetic markers, and how researchers can manipulate conditions so that a bee given one job will take on another as well as the genetic markers for that other job.  Simply fascinating.

Grandma's Experience can leave a mark on your genome.  This article explains what we know and theorize about how the whole thing applies to humans, and is probably the best one of what I've posted.

 If diet and chemicals can cause epigenetic changes, could certain experiences — child neglect, drug abuse or other severe stresses — also set off epigenetic changes to the DNA inside the neurons of a person’s brain? That question turned out to be the basis of a new field, behavioral epigenetics, now so vibrant it has spawned dozens of studies and suggested profound new treatments to heal the brain. 
According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories. 

On Politics:

I usually avoid talking politics here, but I have to say my heart is sick watching the Trump phenomena play out.  I have to agree wholeheartedly with this short speech by Mitt Romney and this analysis by Nathaniel Givens.  I just don't understand his appeal.  The only comforting thing is that while the media constantly report that he's winning evangelicals, among those who actually go to church, he does very poorly.  I'm glad some people can see through him.

Please, please, please, if you are considering that this man, an unrepentant adulterer, flatterer, liar, and fear-mongerer, is qualified to be our president, at least consider that his behavior is little more than a playground bully, as you can see in this article:  The 202 People, Places, and Things Trump has insulted on Twitter


With spring filling my days with 50 and 60 degree weather of late, and my bulbs starting to peek up from their winter slumber, I can look a bit more fondly back on these lovely winter images.


For Family Home Evening this week, we discussed this talk about how to develop a relationship with the Holy Ghost.  I always love hearing about Elder Eyring's father, who was a famous chemist who almost won the Nobel prize, but also a deeply spiritual man.  (I highly recommend his biography):
"That help came to my father years ago when his work took him to Australia. He was alone on a Sunday, and he wanted to take the sacrament. He could find no information about Latter-day Saint meetings. So he started walking. He prayed at each intersection to know which way to turn. After walking and making turns for an hour, he stopped to pray again. He felt an impression to turn down a particular street. Soon he began to hear singing coming from the ground floor of an apartment building close by. He looked in at the window and saw a few people seated near a table covered with a white cloth and sacrament trays. 
Now, that may not seem like much to you, but it was something wonderful to him. He knew the promise of the sacrament prayer had been fulfilled: “Always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them”  
That was only one example of a time when he prayed and then did what the Spirit told him God wanted him to do. He kept at it over the years, as you and I will. He never talked about his spirituality. He just kept on doing little things for the Lord that he was prompted to do.

Be the Donkey

I love Jenny's point about stillness:  In Me Ye Shall have Peace, and Other Scriptures I'm bad at

And finally,
I'm not a young single adult, but I am raising a whole bunch of kids who soon will be, so I was excited to watch this Face to Face with Elder Holland.  I highly recommend watching or listening to it.  Perhaps while deep-cleaning your kitchen cabinets?

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