Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by qubit, Dec 2, 2013.
Read about it at New Scientist
Anyone? I'm surprised at no responses. I'd have thought this would have been hot topic, lol.
I enjoyed the read.
No, it wasn't. If you had fully read the article, you'd have noted the following:
So, what you've got here is people grasping at straws. That isn't how science works. We need to confirm that this data was accurate, have more testing, and draw a testable hypothesis that might explain this phenomena. As it stands, this is one experiment with one untenable conclusion drawn. This is the same crap that allowed people to state studies that unequivocally proved eggs were good for you, terrible for you, then good for you again.
The study of epigenetics is an interesting one. Environmental influences determining how genes are expressed is both disturbing and thrilling. Drawing conclusions, before being thoroughly studied, is not science. If you came at us with more than one article, acting as something more than research funding bait, there may be more of a response. As it stands, this is an interesting but entirely incapable of supporting its claims. Wake me when they've gotten peer reviewed results worth actually caring about.
I did read the whole article and decided to make that thread title. Think about why for a minute.
Yes, I know how science works and your description is technically accurate, but I think you're missing something here by taking an informal discussion a little too seriously, lol.
That thing with the eggs, sheesh I know what you mean. How long do you reckon until they think they're bad for you again?!
What did genetic memory prove?
is genetic memory not just the same as instinct?
My ire was raised years ago, by the food we ate. My father sold supplies to bakeries, and I got to learn about life. The discussion went as follows.
Dad, why does the ingredients list on this cookie batch not match the ingredients on that one.
Son, people are stupid. Let me tell you about the last ten years. We started out with whole eggs, butter, flour, and potentially peanut dust in our processing center. It was determined that people wanted richer and richer tasting goods, so we initially switched the butter in our goods to hydrogenated vegetable oils, like coconut butter. The public ate it up, until a study came out linking the oils to obesity and heart disease. We immediately changed back to the old butter, sold the cookies as free of the oils, and people ate up the change. They trumpeted that it was good for them, so they could eat more than they used to.
People then got fat, because a dozen cookies getting shoved down a gullet tends to do that. People then cried out for less fat, and less sugar. The first change was to go to egg whites, rather than whole eggs. The proteins still bound, but the cookies were lighter. People didn't have an issue with that, and the yellows were diverted into cheaper staple goods, like bread and animal feed. Next, we introduced a sugar substitute that contained no calories. The eggs may the cookies less smooth, more flaky, and hard to maintain a shelf life on. Artificial sweeteners were linked to cancer, and are actually a diuretic.
The people who ate a half dozen of these new cookies appreciated them as "healthier," so the down-side was tolerable; I say that knowing full well that eventually the frequent bathroom stops after eating them eventually clicked in people's minds. These healthier cookies needed to be smoother, so the trans-fats were introduced in place of the butter. The resulting cookies were smooth again, but still caused....seepage...
Now we come to the last few years. Trans-fats are now known to cause high blood pressure, and as such we switched back to hydrogenated vegetable oils. The oils were better for you than the fats, and the artificial sweeteners were disposed of. Having another couple years of success, people eventually saw more studies linking hydrogenated oils to medical conditions. Out the window they go, and back to butter. People eventually discovered that the price of goods had increased, so they were looking for cost cutting measures. Around this time the pro-egg movement had become big, so people wanted whole eggs back in their products. Thus, our cookies now have exactly the same as they were a decade ago. The only difference is a 40-60% increase in pricing, that is not mirrored in any way by the cost of the components.
TL;DR: 10 years and despite numerous changes we have the same ingredients in cookies, but artificially inflated prices.
This is why I hate journalists reporting "SCIENCE!" without understanding what that word means. Hopefully, somebody chastises these idiots for spreading misinformation. Given their profession, this probably won a bonus check for hits on their site. That is why I get serious about this crap quickly. Without a sufficient amount of condescension these articles will continue to spread scientific illiteracy. That is unacceptable.
No. Genetic Memory, or more accurately defined by this article as epigenetic gene expression, is not instinct. Instinctual behavior relate to hard-coded behavioral traits that are present in every member of the species, while epigenetic gene expression can effect as little as one member of a species (and their offspring).
Let's compare the two, to understand where differentiation lies. Theoretically, every single cockroach scurries away when exposed to bright lights. This reaction can be observed in roaches who belong to a lineage that hasn't been exposed to intense light in dozens of generations.
On the other hand, you could theoretically expose a group of roaches to sulfur dioxide 10 seconds before delivering a massive electrical shock to them. Continuation of this smell to shock stimuli for their entire lives would (if the epigenetic expression was verifiable) cause the offspring to immediately associate the smell to a shock, and have them react defensively without ever having been shocked before.
Now, the crossroads between these two is interesting. If the epigenetic expression continued on for many generations there may be an adaptation (yay evolution), which favors certain genes for reproduction that are better suited to detecting these smells. In enough generations the faculties to detect this stimuli may evolve as an instinctual behavior
Of course, all of this is predicated upon the epigenetic gene expression potentially being directly related to the stimuli progenitors experienced. This is not particularly plausible given the mixed results of the study, so take from that what you will.
Surprised you didnt take over your fathers business or at least become a baker lol.
The company he worked for at the time was privately held. The bosses knew what was going on, and they made a bundle of money. They did this by offering some amazing incentives to the people who worked there. While he wasn't an owner, I got to know the owners personally and they were good people. Dad was a janitor when he started, and VP of the central US region (they sold everything from M&Ms, to flour, to frozen cookies for businesses like Subway) when he was fired. Fired you say, was he incompetent? Nope, a group of Dutch investors bought the business and drove it straight into the ground. Dad's superiors sold out every employee, to buy them a few more months of leniency for "cost savings." Every few months people would get laid off, because cutting labor costs always improves the bottom line for a quarterly report. Who needs sales when you can just stop having employees?
He was responsible for the only region that made money in the entire US, and spent over 30 years of his life there. One day they called him in (a flight half way across the country without any travel plans, that cost a pretty penny), and he knew his jack@$$ of a boss was firing him to save his own skin. The company was huge, but is now getting ready to file for bankruptcy. The Dutch conglomerate didn't understand business in the USA, and rather than learn they threw enough money at it to hopefully fix the problem. No dice.
Sad diatribe over, I was lucky enough to be mildly intelligent. I got a degree in engineering, and I'm experiencing life with a smaller company. You retain a surprising amount of useless information when you're young, but learning how screwed up people are only really hits you when you've got to work with them.
I wonder if salivation over the smell of baking bread would be considered as an epigenetic expression?
Wow, that's quite a story you have there lilhasselhoffer!
Transfats/hydgrogenated oils are something I look out for carefully when I buy food due to the cancer risk. I bought a margarine-type spread some time back without realizing this shit was in it (forgot to check). I'd actually eaten a whole sandwhich with it before I realized, but as soon as I did I dumped it in the bin. You couldn't tell with the taste that it was tainted with this stuff though.
I love the way the cookie ingredients have gone full circle with a convenient price increase!
hahaha, all this food talk makes me remember some retarded stuff, like those cholesterol "free" cooking oil and bread. Duh! They're of vegetable origin, they don't have cholesterol to begin with
Or the guys warning that margarine is one atom away from being plastic. Well, water is one atom away from being fuel but that doesn't seem to worry anyone
And don't let me get started on the "organic" guys, bitching about "natural" vitamins and such. They can't get through their minds that the body can't tell the difference:
Not that I have anything about organic food, my rant is against people that buy it as a matter of principle and can't stop themselves from telling others (I couldn't care less about what people eat).
All this kind of bickering is for nothing really. Nobody leads a 100% healthy lifestyle because its utterly impractical. You'd have to be a Taoist monk or something.
Everything gives cancer anyway. Living kills.
I'm not surprised. The exact way the olfactory sense works in any particular person is very much based on your genes, more so than sight or hearing, which tends to be "the same" roughly, in everyone.
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