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Lifestyle may influence gene expression and DNA: Neuroscientist reports on new discoveries
by Global Good News staff writer
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2 March 2013
A new breakthrough in the understanding of genetic potential is taking place now. The role of histones, formerly thought to be little more than spare parts, is increasingly understood.
Alarik Arenander, PhD, a UCLA-trained neuroscientist with degrees in molecular biology, developmental biology, and neuroscience, spoke about these developments in the understanding of DNA functioning and gene expression.
Histones, he said, have been found not to be inactive, but rather they are quietly writing the script for gene expression. What is more, they seem to function according to what one does in one's life.
Dr Arenander, a longtime expert researcher on Transcendental Meditation and its effects on brain functioning, discussed how the experiences we have in daily life have the ability to change our brains, even aspects of brain functioning that were previous thought to be fixed.
He said, 'We have known for decades now . . . that experience does change the brain, that somehow our mind, our awareness, and what we do with our awareness actually makes a big difference in our lives.'
Dr Arenander mentioned that this understanding was pioneered by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the great sage who brought Transcendental Meditation to the world. Maharishi was known to value science highly, often enlisting scientists to study Transcendental Meditation to help validate the technique in the Western world.
'Over the decades,' Dr Arenander explained, 'scientists have found that every level of the physiology has been impacted' by the experience of Transcendental Meditation.
With the experience of transcending* that occurs during Transcendental Meditation, every part of the physiology is transformed, he said. In the past, we didn't have the scientific understanding or the up-to-date information to explain how this happened, but now we do.
The findings on histones reflect this. They seem to show that even DNA, something thought to be fixed and unchangeable, is affected by routine and lifestyle. Dr Arenander went on to discuss more of the implications of these new discoveries.
* Transcending: The effortless settling down of the mind to experience quieter levels of the thinking process, eventually going beyond thought to experience pure awareness, the silent, unbounded field of transcendental consciousness, the basis of the mind's activity. Maharishi's technologies of consciousness, including Transcendental Meditation, allow the individual to experience the effortless process of transcending in a systematic, reliable, repeatable manner.
See related article: More complex understanding of histones and DNA emerges
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