Epigenetics: nature vs nurture
DNA writes the instructions which make our cells and make you, you. But, it doesn’t tell us the full story.
Epigenetics is the study of how your own behaviours and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work, without changing the DNA sequence itself.
Epigenetic changes affect gene expression by switching genes on or off. Environmental factors that can lead to these changes include diet, exposure to pollutants and even sleep. The effect the environment has on your genes can be seen by looking at twins. Identical twins have exactly the same DNA when they are born but as they get older epigenetic differences start to increase. For example, one study found that epigenetic changes may explain why rheumatoid arthritis can affect one identical twin but not the other.