Navigation Links
'It takes a genome: How a clash between our genes and modern life is making us sick'
Date:2/25/2009

It's not just the climate that is struggling with what humans have done to the modern world, our genes are feeling the pressure as well, according to Professor Greg Gibson's recently published book.

In It Takes a Genome: How a Clash Between Our Genes and Modern Life Is Making Us Sick, Professor Gibson, from UQ's School of Biological Sciences, suggests the increased rates of diseases such as diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's are due to human genes being unable to cope with the 21st century Western lifestyle.

"In the last two generations or so, we've changed our environment so much in terms of what we eat, what pathogens we are exposed to and the stresses we put on ourselves psychologically," Professor Gibson said.

"The rapid cultural change means our genes are no longer in a comfort zone that's pushed us outside of the realm that the genome can normally tolerate.

"Because of that, we've gone from one percent of people being susceptible to these diseases to more like 10 or 15 percent."

Detailed in the book is the idea that, because genes evolve at a much slower rate than the environment changes, disease epidemics cannot be attributed solely to genetic susceptibility. Rather, environmental change is to blame.

Professor Gibson said while being able to identify the genes responsible for certain diseases was an exciting advancement in genetics, it didn't necessarily mean we were closer to predicting who would get sick.

"If we know our genes we have a better guess at who's predisposed to certain diseases, but we have to understand a whole lot more than that," he said.

"This book actually started out as a response to Richard Dawkin's The Selfish Gene, so I wanted to get the message across that, rather than us being robots that are slaves to our genes, genes are communities that work together."

The ideas in It Takes a Genome are the culmination of 10 years' research analysing how the genomes of various animals respond to environmental change.

The book is available to purchase online and is aimed at a non-scientific audience.

Professor Gibson is an Australian Professorial Fellow in UQ's School of Biological Sciences, having moved recently from North Carolina State University.


'/>"/>

Contact: Penny Robinson
penny.robinson@uq.edu.au
61-733-659-723
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New models question old assumptions about how many molecules it takes to control cell division
2. It takes 2 to tango
3. Small satellite takes on large thunderstorms
4. Forgotten but not gone -- how the brain takes care of things
5. NC State takes research lead in protecting Puerto Ricos unique freshwater fisheries
6. Geologist who linked cosmic strike to dinosaurs extinction takes top prize
7. NC State takes lead in crime scene investigation training
8. UW science photo takes second in national contest
9. High blood pressure takes big toll on small filtering units of the kidney
10. Catalysis takes center stage at chemistry conference
11. NOAA takes first broad look at soot from ships
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... MONICA, Calif. , April 13, 2017 ... New York will feature emerging and evolving ... Summits. Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo ... of speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending ... coast,s largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... N.Y. , April 11, 2017 ... fingerprints, but researchers at the New York University ... College of Engineering have found that partial similarities ... security systems used in mobile phones and other ... thought. The vulnerability lies in the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia ... be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” ... pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... , ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and ... lives of over 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities ... Treepex - based in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based ... of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part ... as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... Dr. Bob ... at his local San Diego Rotary Club. The event entitled “Stem ... CA and had 300+ attendees. Dr. Harman, DVM, MPVM was joined by two ...
Breaking Biology Technology: