Epigenetics and the Age of Aquarius | WWN

Epigenetics and the Age of Aquarius |  WWN


OfLuigi Ripamonti

«It also depends on us (and on others)». This could be the second subtitle of the book «Not everything is written in DNA, science beyond genetics» by Gianvito Martino and Jacopo Lo Grasso, just released by Mondadori. An essay dedicated to the ever-increasing weight it is taking on epigenetics, that is, everything that can influence the expression of genes and therefore our development and our health. The set of these factors, ascribed to the broad concept of «environment», goes from the air we breathe to the care we received or did not receive as children.

But it also includes what we eat, the physical exercise we do or don’t do and many other variables that depend on the choices we make, for ourselves but also for others. In this regard, just think about ours footprint on the ecosystem, which also derives from small, well-done gestures, such as separate waste collection, just to give an example. A responsibility, therefore, but also an opportunity to be seized because you know you really have it the “power” to free oneself to a significant extent from the yoke of an inescapable genetic predestination it changes many perspectives and forcefully puts us back into the game.

It is no coincidence that the authors of the aforementioned book underline the philosophical and scientific-clinical implications of the importance that epigenetics is assuming. The first aspect concerns overcoming an eminently reductionist and neo-Darwinian biological paradigm. The second translates into lines of research increasingly oriented towards do not intervene directly on the DNA, but on what “reads and translates” it and in recognizing dignity to “psychosomatic” suffering that can “concretely” undermine organic integrity.

The era of epigenetics, if we dare call it that, it will not be the Age of Aquarius that was rumored in the 1970s, however, offers real perspectives, for which it is not necessary to rely on the horoscope, but which are worth questioning to understand what we can do, here and now. Because, fortunately, not everything is written in DNA.

March 17, 2024

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