How much do genes affect us?

How much do genes affect us?

Every individual carries two copies of the same chromosome, one which he inherits from his mother and one from his father. Each chromosome carries an allele that influences the way your cells work. What follows behind are the traits, such as skin tone, eye colour, and blood type. However, how much of your health is affected by your parent’s genes? Does it affect at all?


Albert-László Barabási, Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and Distinguished Professor of Physics at Northeastern University, said that people always have a tendency to point at the genes when it comes to non-communicable diseases. However, they forget about how many molecules they come in contact with every second. “We are actually exposed to over 20,000 different molecules every time we eat, through the food’s composition. And there’s quite a number of other chemicals that we are exposed to through air, as well as simply by contact,” said the Northeastern University professor, in this regard.


Genes do affect us to some extent, but it’s not the only thing that decides your life on earth. The food we eat, the place we stay, how much we are exposed to chemicals around, all have an effect on the lifestyle of people. Not all of these have an adverse effect on them; some do and some make no difference at all. The ones which do enter our bloodstream may lead to a series of reactions, which would lead to either a good or bad result. The complexity here is that we can never know what effect it will have on a human being as we live in a very complex chemical environment, and there is no point in studying these molecules separately.  Yet, according to Professor Barabási, there is one thing that can help. That is to understand how chemicals behave and how much of an effect they have on us. This way, we can always come up with new ways of dealing with health issues and also gain more knowledge about preventive measures.


Teena Rose Tom


Teena Tom

No Comments

Post a Comment