Survival of the sickest part 4

All of chapter seven was about the epigenome and methylation. The discovery of these two thing was made at Duke University where a team put to together two groups each made of a male and female fat and yellow mice which were both descended from a long line of fat and yellow mice. Both the female mice got pregnant. The mother in the control group was left to go through her pregnancy normally, but the pregnant mother of the experimental group was fed vitamin supplements. The control group had a fat and yellow mouse child, as expected, but the experimental group had a thin and brown mouse child. This is because certain compounds in the vitamin supplements given to the mother mouse of the experimental group were able to attach to certain genes and suppress those genes. The genes that were suppressed were the agouti genes, which were consistent with the fat and yellow traits in the parent mice. I found all this extremely interesting as I read it. This proves that what a mother does while she is pregnant can affect the phenotype of her child. I also learned about Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, a condition that has symptoms of early again, the defect is caused by the lamin A gene which usually helps with structure in nuclear membranes. The book also said how in order to avoid the spread of cancer cells have a Hayflick limit which limits the number of times a cell can divide, in humans the limit is between 52-60, however cancer cells avoid this by using telomerase to continuously expand the telomere of a cancer cell, therefore making it immortal. The chapter also explained how Humans evolved from apes by moving to a environment where they have to move in water and on land. The environmental factors led to the removal of hair, which made swimming slower, and our noses, which make diving possible. Also, giving birth in water is easier and quicker than giving birth on land. I found the whole book extremely interesting and I have no questions.


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