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Author Topic: Can genes change?  (Read 888 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.

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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.

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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.

Online 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.

Offline aouser626

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2018, 11:29:26 PM »
Associating taste buds with a few genes or biased genotypical profiles is not the most scientific conclusion to go make. Otherwise, it should be made clear that in fact, phenotypical expressions and even genotypical expression do indeed change, generally, such a field is known as epigenetics. There is a growing body of literature statistical and/or otherwise supporting the idea of epigenetics, and I can link one interesting example below:

Male Obesity: Epigenetic Origin and Effects in Sperm and Offspring

.

On a side note, generally, after the organism is developed, there is quite an unlikely idea of "genetic mutations" the type you would think off as you do with X-Man considering that each individual cell of the organism of which possesses genetic material possesses genetic material, that is, if one cell has mutated genetic material, what is the likelihood that its mitotic division would dominate that of other cells of which is distinguishingly varying from the mutation of the mutated cell?

Sadly, the type of mutation(s) of which tends to be of significance is that of which results in tumors, and you would expect that, that if such mutations are in fact going to be significant relative to their own neighbourhood of cells, then they must therefore undergo cellular division at a much higher rate, hence, a tumor.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 12:34:10 AM by entropy970 »

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 09:52:34 PM »
While many great points have been brought up the premise that our cellular structure does not change over time, if very much false and has been proven. Every fiber of our being can be broken down to the most basic cell. And as we age they degrade from what is called  Telomeres  degradation. i.e when a cell splits it every so often from biological, environmental or viral it loses a piece of data over time this builds up to where we have eye sight degradation, or auditory and gustatory  perceptions are diminished. This in effect leads to cells developing mutations of their Telomere replication chain which regulates the growth rate of cells, when this happens our bodies develop cancers, which in essence is your cells mutating out of control.
 

Offline Dragongoddess

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2018, 03:29:34 AM »
Ok I think this is the best place to put this but this thread got me thinking: If genes cannot change, why are big changes normal in babies and puberty?  Such as: (Explained to me by the nurses that cared for me after I gave birth) many children are born with dark hair and blue eyes but many times, these traits change.  Also, when you hit puberty, many people's hair darkens, their eye color might also change.  This was very prevalent with my own father who upon hitting puberty had blonde hair turn black and blue eyes turn brown.

Offline aouser626

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2018, 04:43:21 AM »
@Dragongoddess
The greater amount and percentage of stem cells more specifically the type denoted by the term "pluripotent stem cell", you may have heard of the term "cellular differentiation" before, pluripotent stem cells have not reached such a stage of "cellular differentiation" and thus has much greater potential.

In fact, the notion of induced pluripotent stem cells is a field of which holds many medical promises.

And, the concept of epigenetics in stem cell differentiation thus suggest a possible explanation for what you might have observed:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epigenetics_in_stem-cell_differentiation

Literature: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=Epigenetics+in+stem-cell+differentiation&btnG=

Example study:
Histone deacetylase activity is required for embryonic stem cell differentiation

The suggestion wouldn't be a surprise considering the behavior of Histone deacetylase, as suggested by:
"Histone deacetylases (EC 3.5.1.98, HDAC) are a class of enzymes that remove acetyl groups (O=C-CH3) from an ε-N-acetyl lysine amino acid on a histone, allowing the histones to wrap the DNA more tightly."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histone_deacetylase#cite_note-pmid19608861-2

.

Modern biology is extremely primitive due to a lack of modern mathematics and we, therefore, desire much for accurate models of biophysics that describes generally cellular environments and therefore DNA transcription, translation, and protein synthesis coherently and consistently.

I can criticize it because it's something I'm looking forward to in the future.

Offline Ingexthefuryhunter1

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Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2018, 04:53:03 AM »
Those changes are from mutations to the cells of pigments in the hair and eyes, from differing hormones released at various growth and age related cycles in our life. It is why many who are in the sun a lot will darken, but then the next years works inside of a building during the same time and they do not darken up. But many things change at puberty, hormones have a great deal in how we turn out, as well as how our cells change during those times.

Offline aouser626

Re: Can genes change?
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2018, 04:59:02 AM »
To supplement @Ingexthefuryhunter1, as "regulation of epigenetic factors by environmental dynamics" which is quite a fitting description.

e.g.

Metabolic Regulation of Epigenetics

"Although much emphasis has been put on delineating transcriptional output of growth factor/hormonal signaling pathways, accumulated evidence from yeast and mammalian systems suggest that metabolic signals also play critical roles in determining chromatin structure..."

That is, the suggestion of hormonal signaling pathways in influencing epigenetic factors. This is quite intuitively clear to many people, however, how it affects epigenetic factors is less clear due to a lack of modern mathematics as implemented in biology. The example is actually more so about metabolic regulation, but you get the point.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 05:12:36 AM by aouser626 »