Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Your Genes

From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: What is epigenetics and how does it influence your genes?
Air Date: 5/20/16
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest Bio: Richard C. Francis, PhD
Richard-FrancisRichard C. Francis is a freelance science writer. He received his Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior from Stony Brook University and was a recipient of the National Research Science Award from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Before becoming a freelance writer, he conducted widely published postdoctoral research in evolutionary neurobiology and sexual development at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.  

He is the author of Why Men Won’t Ask for Directions and Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance and Paperback Edition Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes. His latest book is Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World. Richard resides in Danville, California.
Dr. Jason Jones has been a practicing Chiropractor and advocate for natural health and healing since 2000. Dr. Jones owns and operates a very successful family oriented private practice in Elizabeth City, NC. In addition he is the host of the very popular podcast, Healthy Families Made Easy, on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud, where he interviews health experts on a regular basis to teach families how to grow healthier together. He loves being active from running half marathons, marathons, obstacles races, martial arts and functional fitness. Dr. Jones also deep passion for nutrition and teaching others to live their very best lives and speaks regularly to groups and organizations to get the message of natural health out to the masses.
Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Your Genes
How can one "identical" twin have a disorder of sexual development, while the other appears perfectly normal?

Aren't they supposed to be genetic clones?

The answer comes from the burgeoning science of epigenetics.

Epigenetics is the study of long-term alterations in gene behavior, caused by chemical changes in DNA.

These changes, often triggered by environmental factors, don't affect genes themselves, but rather the extent to which they are expressed.

Some epigenetic changes can be inherited directly, just like genetic mutations.

Others are transmitted indirectly — through, for example, nature-nurture feedback loops.

Dr. Richard C. Francis, a neuro-biologist by training, has written what may be the first popular introduction to the subject: Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance.

Francis says he had long been interested in "the nature-nurture dichotomy and why it was unsatisfactory."

Listen in as Dr. Francis joins Dr. Susanne to discuss the science behind epigenetics and how our environment shapes our genes.