- Epigenetic modifications are natural and ordinary occurrences that constitute heritable alterations, which do not occur as an outcome of changes within the sequence of an organism’s DNA. In addition to this, such alterations arise out of life experiences rather than biological influencers. Some of the epigenetic modifications mentioned comprise the addition of methyl categories to particular nucleotides within the DNA. Another common type of epigenetic alteration constitutes the modification of histone.
- The application of preening by a mother rat on her pups may actually be effective in providing them with the inherent ability to deal with stress. On a genetic level, pups that do not undergo preening processes such as grooming, licking, and nursing may end up being more anxious and stressed as adults. However, preening eliminates this by imposing epigenetic alterations, which succeed in shaping the epigenomes of the pups.
- Some scientists such as biochemists and molecular biologists are skeptical of Meaney and Champagne’s work due to the experience they possess especially in terms of the methylation of DNA. The respective individuals argue that the process cannot be influenced by a mother’s care because of the effect of methyl groups on DNA apart from the notion that there is insufficient and misconstrued evidence to assert such conclusions.
- From a personal standpoint, epigenetics assumes a role in determining, influencing, and altering the behavior of offspring. Since life experiences can actually alter the DNA sequence of organisms, wider implications have been imposed especially in respect to the nature vs. nurture argument. In fact, epigenetics further show that one’s environment, including the practices within it, may actually have a more considerable effect on an offspring’s behavior in comparison to genes or hereditary.
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