You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

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Ego
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You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by Ego » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:29 pm

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. - Jim Rohn

Turns out the phenomenon might be the result of epigenetics.

http://www.psmag.com/health/the-social- ... nes-64616/
Who you hung out with and how they behaved, in short, could dramatically affect which of your genes spoke up and which stayed quiet—and thus change who you were.

and...

“Your experiences today will influence the molecular composition of your body for the next two to three months,” he tells his audience, “or, perhaps, for the rest of your life. Plan your day accordingly.”

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Dragline
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Dragline » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:58 pm

Vedy intresting, Dr. Ego.

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Felix
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Felix » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:30 am

All of this research about how genes change based on the environment makes me doubt this deterministic paradigm of the genes as this fundamental all-determining program in your cells. If gene expression is that malleable, it seems like it's more similar to a toolbox of which we can make use depending on circumstances than a program just running till we die.

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:11 am

Seems like it would be wise to determine the characteristics I desire then cultivate and cull my friends accordingly.

One of my tenants, a sweet little old lady, adopted an abused dog from a rescue shelter. The thing is meaner than a sack of rattlesnakes. I've noticed that she's gotten meaner herself since the adoption. I wonder....

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GandK
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by GandK » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:14 am

This is a scary read for a parent. I now feel the need to go purge most of our video game collection, half our music, and all of G's Walking Dead reruns.

Although, it sounds like it will make little difference, because as soon as the kids move out they'll change into something else anyway. Heck, if I make it TOO nice in the home, they may try to move back in again, and there goes G's ER...

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Ego » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:47 am

GandK wrote:This is a scary read for a parent. I now feel the need to go purge most of our video game collection, half our music, and all of G's Walking Dead reruns.

Although, it sounds like it will make little difference, because as soon as the kids move out they'll change into something else anyway. Heck, if I make it TOO nice in the home, they may try to move back in again, and there goes G's ER...
It's funny GandK, I was wondering the same thing. Must we be physically in the same hive or could we consider this forum a sort of hive, giving us whatever necessary prompts to provoke epigenetic changes? Is it pheromones prompting the changes? Is it all in our heads? It is probably a little of both. Hum.

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Chad
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Chad » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:12 pm

Felix wrote:All of this research about how genes change based on the environment makes me doubt this deterministic paradigm of the genes as this fundamental all-determining program in your cells. If gene expression is that malleable, it seems like it's more similar to a toolbox of which we can make use depending on circumstances than a program just running till we die.
It seems to me that our genes give us a bell curve for everything. The real difference is that the bell curve is different for all of us depending on our genes. For instance, I'm sure I could get much faster in the 100 meter with quality training, but there is no way I'm beating Usain Bolt no matter who I hang out with or how much I train. Our bell curves are too different for me to ever catch him.

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:42 pm

Am I missing something or does this not rather say that "your genes have dials which function are set according to your environment"? So nothing about actual genetic transfer between you(*) and your environment/five bestest friends?

(*) That being said, I understand that a human is composed of a lot of "foreign" bodies (think gut bacteria) and that the only 100% pure part of "you" is your nervous system [which contains no foreign bodies]. Everything else is an "environment".

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by jennypenny » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:49 am

Ego wrote: Must we be physically in the same hive or could we consider this forum a sort of hive, giving us whatever necessary prompts to provoke epigenetic changes? Is it pheromones prompting the changes? Is it all in our heads? It is probably a little of both. Hum.
I was really curious about this myself. I did some research, but couldn't find a satisfactory answer. I decided to contact Dr. Coles directly (his research is featured in the article). He was gracious enough to answer...

jennypenny wrote:Do think it is necessary to be in close proximity to other people to be affected by them on the level you describe? Our particular group is in constant contact with each other. We share very personal information about everything including finances through online journals accessible by all. We don't, however, see each other in person for the most part.

Could we be affecting each other in the way you described? Is direct physical interaction necessary?
Dr. Coles wrote:Hi Jenny,

Absolutely - no physical interaction is necessary, as long as these relationships help you feel safe, secure, and cared for. Or to put it another way, the contact you have with people "in your head" seems to be a major driver of the gene expression effects we see. If that contact is good and supportive, more favorable gene expression dynamics are seen. If the "same" real-world contact is experienced as threatening or uncertain, less favorable (more health-risky) gene expression profiles are seen.

That's not to say the objective "real world" social contact does not matter. Some aspects of real-world contact definitely affect immune cell gene expression (think of the colds and flu's for an example). But they seem to affect different genes than the ones impacted by experienced social support.

What has been particularly interesting in our studies is the observation that the "experienced contact" and its effects on people's sense of security and positive world-view are associated with 2-3 times as many differences in gene expression as the "objective contact" dynamics (such as colds, flus, etc).

Steve Cole
Great news for the forumites, I would say. :D

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jennypenny
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by jennypenny » Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:36 am

I should have noted that I explained a lot about our interaction on the board to him. I only quoted some of the questions I asked so it would be clear what he was answering.

edit: I just noticed when I copy/pasted my part, I deleted some. Can't fix it now. Sorry. You get the gist.

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Ego » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:02 pm

Amazing!!! Jenny.... you are a gem! What a great guy too.

Epigenetic placebo-effect. Incredible.

Great news. Now I've really got to evaluate where and how I am spending my time and attention. Hum. Maybe this is why avoiding the comments section of news sites is a good idea.

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Felix
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Felix » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Now that's resourceful. Thanks Jenny!!!

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by sshawnn » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:52 pm

WOW

Validation from a researcher reinforcing the aim of my journal from the start.

jp, you probably gave Dr. Cole a bright spot in his day by letting him know that someone was listening to and applying his research to every day real-world situations.

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Ego » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:36 pm

jennypenny wrote:What has been particularly interesting in our studies is the observation that the "experienced contact" and its effects on people's sense of security and positive world-view are associated with 2-3 times as many differences in gene expression as the "objective contact" dynamics (such as colds, flus, etc).
This is going to be spinning in my head for days.

I'm about halfway through the book The Harvard Psychedelic Club about the researchers who conducted experiments in the 50s/60s using mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs. One of the common themes among first-time users was the feeling of connectedness with everything. I've never used psychedelics but I understand that people often describe the experience as life-changing. I would imagine these feelings of all-encompassing connectedness would be considered by Dr. Cole as something akin to an open-ended "experienced contact". I wonder if anyone has done before/after gene expression tests on LSD users.

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GandK
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by GandK » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:37 pm

sshawnn wrote:jp, you probably gave Dr. Cole a bright spot in his day by letting him know that someone was listening to and applying his research to every day real-world situations.
Agreed, and thanks JP for clarifying!

This is fascinating stuff.

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:16 pm

Well, that's comforting. Like Toska, I was afraid it was mostly co-workers for me. At least I get some positive influence. :P

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by jennypenny » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:19 am


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Felix
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Felix » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:47 am

Hm. Maybe I should reconsider trying to educate people on the monetary system ... :lol:

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by Ego » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:01 am

The Third Factor: Nature, Nurture and .....

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-te ... 2u77p.html
Andrew Feinberg of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, thinks that not only are some of the epigenetic differences between individuals a result of random events, but that this randomness is built-in - an evolved feature.

Feinberg thinks it is a way for evolution to hedge its bets. Many animals have to survive in a constantly changing environment. Random epigenetic changes produce more variation in genetically similar offspring, increasing the chances that some of them will survive, he argues.

If your head is starting to spin, brace yourself. It seems that the amount of random epigenetic variability can itself vary depending on the environment. In mice given certain dietary supplements, there was increased variability in their methylation patterns.
The study adds to the evidence that animals can turn out differently even if their genes and environment are identical. What it also suggests is that these differences can arise through a dynamic, interactive process. So a slightly more active mouse might explore a little more than a less active one. It might bump into more of its cage mates and take an enjoyable tumble down a plastic tube, which might in turn fuel its wanderlust, making it better at climbing and more likely and able to seek out further new experiences. Kempermann found that the most adventurous mice grew the most new neurons in their hippocampus, a brain region linked to learning and memory. Tiny initial differences become amplified, feeding back to biology and behaviour, sculpting individuality.
What's more, many aspects of our bodies and behaviours seem to be the result of complex interactions between genes and the environment, mediated by epigenetics and with a large dash of chance thrown in. In these cases it seems pointless arguing about nature versus nurture. ''The debate is outdated,'' says epigeneticist Manel Esteller, of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute in Barcelona, Spain. ''It doesn't make sense any more.''

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the mos

Post by 1taskaday » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:56 pm

Just read this thread. Amazing, love it and am in full agreement.

Arthur de Vany,on his website/book, does a whole load of research on the topic of being able to switch genes on and off with diet and exercise.

He has really interesting stuff and "switched" (excuse the pun) me on to the whole paleo diet. Amazing for weight loss, aging and energy levels.

Really interesting stuff, why beat around the bush when you can go directly to the source, well done Jennypenny.

Where I think this could really reap rewards if applied, is when managing staff in work environments.

Imagine if staff felt "safe,secure and cared for" to use Dr Cole's own words.
Wow,the sky would be the limit to what they could achieve.

Or then again maybe not,if individuals did not contain the correct "gene pool" for self motivation and achievement, there would be no genes to get switched on and "expressed" .
They would just coast along and get lazier and less motivated in a safe,secure work environment. Isn’t this what people say about government workers all the time ...


This kind of ties into the "Are job perks underrated?" thread.

To me if I felt "safe,secure and cared for" in my job it would definitely switch on my creative genes and make me achieve a lot more.I would make my job interesting and set up personal challenges for myself.

Being an INTJ I would probably get so into it then that I would not be in the hurry I am towards ERE.

So interesting ...

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by Ego » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:06 am


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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by jennypenny » Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:58 pm

Ego wrote:Epigenetics of fatherhood.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/scien ... gests.html
LOL, I was coming to post this.

The more I read about this, the more profound I think it is for two reasons. First, it shows that it's never too late to try to live a healthier lifestyle. It might have important effects on the body that can't be measured [yet]. Second, people can't just blame their DNA for all of their issues and throw their hands up, especially if they are going to toss their hat into the gene pool.

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Ego
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by Ego » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:57 pm

We think alike. An epigenetic jinx moment like the good doctor mentioned above.

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:59 pm

Yikes. A little bit scary since I don't necessarily want many of the traits of the people I am most often around. Maybe that's why I am now spending so much time on here. Hopefully the ERE forum counts in the people count!

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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:08 am

Interesting. My S27 and his father are both constantly below or on the borderline of being underweight (as children and adults, they were both super-chubby infants), but my D24 is usually on the higher end of healthy BMI or slightly over, like me. I thought it was just random roll of the genes, but maybe the fact that I was in the midst of attempting to make her father no longer resemble a POW (6'1" 135 lbs. on broad shoulders) when undressed, that caused her to be born somewhat chubbier tending. Luckily, she is pear-shaped, so it's just an aesthetic rather than a health issue for her. My ex lost over 30 lbs. (back down into 130s) and had a nervous breakdown after we split, so I've decided it's better to mostly let people feed themselves even if they don't do a very good job of it.

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