Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TV Metaphor

Studies have shown that single cells (at least those with a nucleus known as eukarotes) are capable of learning through environmental experiences. They are able to create cellular memories, which they pass on to their offspring. They are also capable of influencing your genes, which means that genes are not set in concrete at birth. Environmental influences (e.g., stress, nutrition, emotions) can modify the genes without changing their basic blueprint. Those modifications can be passed on to future generations. Dr. Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief, offered a metaphor to help people understand this process more clearly. In the last century, when TV programming stopped at midnight, a ‘test pattern’ would appear on the screen after the normal programming signed off. He pointed out that most test patterns looked like a dart board with a bull’s eye in the middle. Imagine that this pattern is encoded in a gene. A pattern for blue eyes, for example, since my eyes are blue. But there is not just one shade of blue eyes on the planet. More tomorrow.

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