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Author Topic: Can genes change?  (Read 472 times)

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Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Can genes change?
« on: November 21, 2017, 11:08:56 AM »
I've been thinking about something interesting lately.  I remember learning in 10th grade Biology when we were studying genetics that there is this taster gene.  Funnily enough, this gene is the deciding factor in whether or not you prefer Pepsi or Coke.  I can't remember which is which.  But the funny thing is as a kid I liked Pepsi better.  Now as an adult I definitely prefer Coke.  I am also one of those people for whom cilantro tastes like soap, which is also determined by this gene.  Also, I used to be able to roll my tongue like my dad could, and I can't very well anymore.  My mom can fold her tongue in half.  I couldn't do it as a kid, and I still can't do that one.  But isn't it funny how genes play a part in so much?

Offline SithLordOfSnark

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2017, 11:16:12 AM »
I know that taste buds change as you grow older, so I don't see why this would be any different.

As a kid, I /hated/ brussel sprouts. Now I love them.

Offline HannibalBarca

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2017, 10:06:20 AM »
I know my own sense of taste has changed as well over the years.  We lose taste buds as we grow older, too.  But I'm not sure if the sense of taste changing is a matter based in the taste buds, or in the brain, where the signals from the taste buds are interpreted.  I don't think our genes change this...though I could be wrong.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2017, 10:19:34 AM »
Short answer: Yes but that's not what you're experiencing.

Barring mutation's there's generally no way to change a person's genetic makeup.

What is happening is that as we get older our taste buds wear out and get damaged from environmental factors. So they don't taste as effectively as they used to. So the bitter elements you hated when you were younger because children are basically in a hypersensitive state in regard to taste by comparison, tend to be things that offer depth and complexity to food as you get older.

Kids tend to love Pepsi because it's sweeter than Coke, but adults tend to like Coke or Dr. Pepper because they're less one-note as far as soft drinks go. Adults tend to not love overly-sweet things. Not sure why that is.

Offline Sain

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 02:55:50 PM »
I would take the taste bud gene story with a dash of salt. 10th grade teachers are not typically very critical of their source material. Anyway, your genes can't change that significantly (except through modern gene therapy). Individual mutations may occur but they aren't responsible for anything other than potentially causing cancer at some point (they're far too spread out and random to make changes in your taste buds).

Epigenetics can change and do change across human lifespan. Simply put epigenetics covers various changes in proteins involved in how your DNA affects your cells. Epigenetics can be affected by diet, exercise, and other external factors in both negative and positive ways. What makes the subject particularly complex is that different organs will have different epigenetic changes from the same environmental stimuli. What's even more amazing is that some of these changes can pass to the next generation (and the next!). Sadly, we don't know exactly what does what and why, yet.

If I remember correctly though the thing with your taste buds is mostly psychological or related to your brain's natural aging process. Your brain changes as you age so the way you react to different tastes also changes. It might be evolutionary trait from days when it was important that kids munch on highest calory stuff right away, though honestly have no idea for the actual cause. You'd need to ask evolutionary psychologist. In addition, decay and death of your nerve cells on the tongue may also contribute, but probably not as significantly before you get really old.

It's definitely not your genes though. Genes are set.

Offline RedRose

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 04:50:55 AM »
I've heard that kids loooove sugar because their little brains need a lot of it.

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 01:47:14 AM »
My takeaway from this thread:

My love of Pepsi and unequivocal sweet tooth means my brain is ever-expanding and I am a supergenius.

That is all.

Offline TwilightJester

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 11:57:10 PM »
I have had the same changes....one thing always sticks with me though my absolute hatred for raw tomatoes. I like ketchup and sun dried tomatoes or even but straight up tomatoes make me fucking puke and it has been this way my entire life. Long story short idfk whats going on with my genetics but fuck tomato's.

Offline SerephinoTopic starter

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2017, 07:12:27 AM »
Oh, I looove tomatoes!  A mater sammich is the food of the gods!  I also like salsa, and marinara sauce, and sometimes tomato soup.  However, ketchup is the bastardization of tomatoes I tell you!  I like spicy foods like my dad did, and I don't know if it's a Northern Maine thing or a family thing, but another tasty snack is cucumber slices with salt, pepper, and vinegar.