Monday, April 28, 2014

Epigenetics in Nature vs. Nurture on Identical Twins

This video illustrates what recent studies have shown about differences between twins and environmental factors.  Specifically, it discusses how epigenomes may be the cause for the differences in relation to the environment.  The epigenome interacts with DNA to either activate or silence particular genes; the ones for each specific gene is called an epigenetic tag.  In the development and early life of identical twins, the epigenetic tags do not effect changes because the environments are very similar.  However, further in life, different environmental factors cause the epigenetic tags to activate and silence different genes, creating the differences in identical twins that everyone questions.  It states specific factors, such as diet, physical activity, exposure to toxins, and stress.  Obviously, this video is on the side of nurture.  I do believe that nurture is the reason why there would be differences in appearance and personality of identical twins, but if the epigenetic tags are the cause, isn’t that also slightly nature. Nature is what you are born with, and you are born with the epigenomes.  They begin to alter through environmental changes, but you first have to have them in order for them to cause the differences.  Therefore, I believe that it is mostly the environment (nurture) that causes differences, but it starts with the nature of ones DNA.

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