Genes are the Hand You've Been Dealt. But It's How You Play the Hand That Counts
Our genome sequence does not determine everything that is going to happen to us throughout the rest of our lives.
There are two lines of DNA that are very important and will remain so -- the ones going down your maternal line and your paternal line, and they are very informative. But they only cover a very small part of your genome. We now know a little bit more about how to analyze the other parts of your genome, your other chromosomes. It doesn't help quite so much. Because your genes are shuffled, you’ve got to do a lot of genealogy work to try and work out which bits come from which ancestor.
Nonetheless, I think that one of the benefits coming from this is that you can link in to people that you have no idea you are related to. So going back about five generations to a common ancestor, you can just show that you're linked to or related to somebody who you never knew you were, and that can be followed up through the records and confirmed, or not.
I think it’s always been the dream a lot of geneticists—and geneticists do tend towards megalomania sometimes—that as soon as we’re born we’re going to have our entire genome sequence and that will tell us what's going to happen to us throughout the rest of our lives. I don't subscribe to that. I think that genes are the deck of cards that you’re handed at birth, but it’s how you play them that counts.
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To create wiser adults, add empathy to the school curriculum.
- Stories are at the heart of learning, writes Cleary Vaughan-Lee, Executive Director for the Global Oneness Project. They have always challenged us to think beyond ourselves, expanding our experience and revealing deep truths.
- Vaughan-Lee explains 6 ways that storytelling can foster empathy and deliver powerful learning experiences.
- Global Oneness Project is a free library of stories—containing short documentaries, photo essays, and essays—that each contain a companion lesson plan and learning activities for students so they can expand their experience of the world.
An extinction events expert sounds a dire warning.
- The supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park could cause an "ultra-catastrophe," warns an extinction events writer.
- The full eruption of the volcano last happened 640,000 years ago.
- The blast could kill billions and make United States uninhabitable.
Just before I turned 60, I discovered that sharing my story by drawing could be an effective way to both alleviate my symptoms and combat that stigma.
I've lived much of my life with anxiety and depression, including the negative feelings – shame and self-doubt – that seduced me into believing the stigma around mental illness: that people knew I wasn't good enough; that they would avoid me because I was different or unstable; and that I had to find a way to make them like me.
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Mathematicians studied 100 billion tweets to help computer algorithms better understand our colloquial digital communication.