Duration: 45 minutes (jump to 03:40 to skip introductions)
Little more than a week ago my brother sent this presentation by Bruce Lipton regarding the new science of epigenetics. As a high school biology teacher who had questioned concepts like genetic determinism and junk DNA I found it fascinating. When my wife, the original sceptic, was spell-bound by Bruce I knew we were on to something.
It was 2010 when I came across an article regarding how the J. Venter Institute had created the first synthetic bacterial genome and successfully inserted it into a bacteria. This was hailed as a great step forward in the biotechnology field. I shared this information with my students. We watched Craig Venter do his TED Talks and pondered the implications of creating synthetic life without a full understanding of how genes and DNA operate. We reviewed articles on why the three billion dollar human genome project was essentially a failure, having never lived up to its promises. It stood out, as GM foods stand out, as an example of science gone bad wherein the researchers start with the conclusion and then go looking for the evidence to back it up.
The textbooks have not caught up and the human genome project is still hailed as another milestone in scientific achievement and students are still being taught the conventional dogma that you are little more than your genes, over which you have no influence. As Mark Twain is famously quoted as saying “it ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”.