Molecular Biology

Gene Expression Consciousness and Philosophy



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Gene expression is defined as the transcription of a gene's DNA to messenger RNA, or mRNA, which is in turn translated into amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are responsible for the millions of molecular reactions that take place in the cells of the body. As the study of genetics has progressed, scientists studying the human genome have identified specific gene sequences known as markers which can be helpful in predicting an individual's predisposition to certain diseases. One problem that has arisen with the advent of genetic testing and counseling is that an undesired test result can encourage fear, even when a possible outcome may never actually come to fruition. Learning that he or she carries a marker for a certain type of cancer, for example, may bring about such fear and anxiety that a person actually becomes a victim of an illness that has not yet materialized. Philosophy for the new age, however, suggests that we are not at the mercy of our DNA; rather, we can and do affect gene expression with our consciousness, our thoughts and attitudes.

As human beings evolve, attaining greater levels of enlightenment and awareness of our connections to the universe and each other, consciousness expands. Consciousness is unique to each individual, however, and therefore difficult to measure, define, or study. This is by no means a mainstream idea, that humans could possibly be capable of conscious control over every aspect of their lives, including their own biology. Such a suggestion may sound ridiculous to some, but many accepted scientific discoveries were once considered outlandish notions.

According to the laws of karma, you get back what you give. A holistic attitude toward health and wellbeing espouses the idea that we are in charge of our own health, and that our conscious decisions affect whether or not we achieve good health or become victims of disease. This means paying attention to what our bodies are trying to tell us. Is this not an example of working with our own cellular function and gene expression? Any competent physician, holistic or allopathic, will instruct a patient on his or her own responsibility toward good health. Scientists who study molecular biology and gene expression will be the first to admit that despite years of research, much is still unknown about factors affecting gene expression. The question of the affect of individual consciousness on gene expression is a subject open to study and debate.

As human beings we do have control over our own gene expression through the conscious decisions we make, whether we realize it or not. There is nothing mysterious or difficult about it really. Here's one example. Have you ever felt like calling out from work, or just staying in bed because you felt like you were getting sick, but decided instead that you would not allow it to ruin your day? So, you got out of bed and went about your business, and before you knew it, you were feeling better. You made the decision to reset your DNA, erasing the discomfort as if it had never existed, thereby altering your gene expression with your conscious mind. That's how it works.

Some might just want to think of it as the power of positive thinking, rather than consciousness affecting gene expression, but the concept is the same. Consciousness is powerful, and can affect physiological function at the cellular level in a profound way. Science will catch up someday, and the evidence will show that we do not have to be victims of our genes, that it is possible to have a conscientious working relationship with our own DNA. In other words, if you want happy genes, the best thing to do is to send them happy messages.

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