medical students

medical students

Epigenetics 101 - Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD

2d ago
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In Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD, outlines a new understanding of life based on his pioneering research with stem cells at Stanford University. In his book, Dr. Lipton proclaims that genes do not control biology, and that cellular perceptions of the environment are the primary factor in biological processes. Proteins are the staff of life, the physical gears that orchestrate the movements of biology. There are estimated to be about 100,000 different kinds of proteins in the human body. Today, medical students and practitioners are still operating under the assumption that genes, the blueprints that proteins are made from, are the primary factor in biological processes. When James Watson and Francis Crick first visualized the molecular structure of DNA in 1953, the scientific community believed they had found the ultimate secret to life. The widely accepted understanding is that genetic information stored within the DNA is enough to explain all of molecular biology and heredity and is the reason why living organisms look and behave as they do, in sickness and in health. The old scientific paradigm espoused that inert genes were the brain of the cell, directing and controlling which proteins become expressed in every cell and that we are essentially all just victims of heredity. After doing experiments with enucleation, a process where the genes are removed from the cell, Dr. Lipton and other experimenters found that cells live normal lives for up to two months or even longer before their proteins wore out and they died, an observation that contradicts the primacy of genes in cell biology. The genetic information stored in DNA is the blueprint from which all of the body's proteins can be made. Modern science has mistaken the blueprint, the DNA, for the contractor who actually builds the house. So, if the genes are not the brains of the cell, what is? Introducing the Cell MemBrain. At just seven nanometers wide, this phospholipid bilayer is covered in hundreds of thousands of different receptor proteins. These receptor proteins are each specialized to interpret different signals from the environment and then relay that information back into the cell. When a chemical messenger like a hormone or a neurotransmitter binds to a receptor protein like a key going into a lock, the receptor protein activates corresponding effector proteins inside of the cell, initiating a cascade of chemical reactions within the cell. These are called IMPs, or integral membrane proteins. This receptor effector protein relationships in the cell membrane is how a cell perceives and reacts to its environment. A molecule in the environment binds to a receptor protein, an effector protein gets activated, and the chemical release inside the cell makes its way back to the cell's nucleus where the DNA is opened up so a new protein can be made in the process of transcription. All the functions of DNA depend on interactions with proteins. For example, within the chromosomes, proteins such as histones compact and organize DNA. These compact structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed. For a gene to be expressed, a sigma factor protein needs to bind to RNA polymerase for it to split the DNA and be able to access the blueprint. Different sigma factors are utilized under different environmental conditions. The specialized sigma factors bind the promotors of genes appropriate to the environmental conditions, increasing the transcription of those genes. The genes chosen to be activated and synthesized into new proteins are the direct result of signals from the environment interacting with receptor proteins in the cell membrane. This is the molecular basis for the environment being the primary factor in biological processes. Understanding this complex interaction between environmental conditions and gene expression leads to a marvelous new understanding of biological d...