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

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

Postby FBeyer » Sun Dec 06, 2015 7:27 am

Is this really so surprising?
Of course I am being an ass about interesting research but bear with me for a moment.

We're not talking about changing the genes themselves, we're talking about changing gene EXPRESSION.
The former changes the actual base-pair composition, the latter changes the reversible methylation of DNA. We've known for some time that exercise and meditation affects methylation. We can see that things such as skeletal muscle are tightly tied to activity and we can detect significantly different brain pattern in monks in active meditation.

Is it really completely surprising that whatever you are thinking or doing actively alters how you think or look?

What makes my inner smug little asshat-atheist smile is that we might have actual scientific indication of Mind Over Matter, rather than wishy washy God Wills It.

This idea also greatly motivates me to do awesome things, because doing awesome things physically makes me able to do MORE awesome things. It means that nature has a built in mechanism to help you develop agency, once you acquire the will to acquire agency!

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

Postby Ego » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:33 pm

Two of my favorite topics in one study. :D

http://mbio.asm.org/content/5/6/e02113-14.full

To investigate the association of gut microbiota with epigenetic changes, we assessed pregnant women and selected the participants based on their predominant gut microbiota for a study on their postpartum methylation profile. Intriguingly, we found that blood DNA methylation patterns were associated with gut microbiota profiles.

In other words, the activation of particular genes is highly correlated with which bacteria inhabits the gut. :shock:

It seems like just yesterday we believed that cracking the DNA code would solve all of our problems. Then we realized that epigenetics made it infinitely more complex. Now?

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

Postby GandK » Mon Dec 14, 2015 8:27 pm

Yeah, I saw this on CNN yesterday and meant to post it:

You are, genetically speaking, what you eat

Like most complex topics, it's cool that it's getting air time, but most people (including me) don't really know what to do with this. We already have a vague sense that we should eat better and avoid GM foods and pesticides. It's tough (impossible?) to otherwise translate this information into concrete steps.

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

Postby jacob » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:11 pm

IOW, life/living is a perfect illustration of le Chatelier's principle.

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

Postby Ego » Mon Dec 14, 2015 9:33 pm

GandK wrote:It's tough (impossible?) to otherwise translate this information into concrete steps.


I agree. Most of the findings are new, extremely complex and the studies focus on what NOT to do rather than what TO do. We already have a pretty good idea of what we shouldn't be doing. I made the post below in the hope that some here might experiment with different prebiotics and tells us how they feel.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5696#p106266

I guess the rule of thumb is to incorporate as wide a variety of different fibers into the diet as possible. Rather than muddle to two threads, I'll post my experiences over at the microbiome thread.

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

Postby FBeyer » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:07 am

Ego wrote:...
It seems like just yesterday we believed that cracking the DNA code would solve all of our problems. Then we realized that epigenetics made it infinitely more complex. Now?

Now! Now we realize that as the island of knowledge grows in a sea of ignorance the length of the shoreline towards ignorance will forever grow :)

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

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:13 am

So, I've long believed that babies should be breastfed and allowed to play in the dirt. Does this research indicate that a woman might have an ugly child if she looks at an elephant while she is pregnant? I mean, experience, as well as nutrition, does influence our biochemistry.

More importantly, does this research support my theory that only accepting men who are more physically fit than me into my polyamorous circle, regular exposure to the germs of children recently immigrated from many foreign lands, and high level of consumption of locally grown organic produce,only haphazardly rinsed, will be good enough to compensate for my addiction to Polish bakery goods?

Also, do you end up being the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with in the mental realm or the physical realm? Does who you read matter as much as who you work, play, have sex, sleep or share meals with? I probably mentioned this elsewhere, but I know a woman who wrote her Master's thesis in the field of human nutrition on the topic of caloric drift after marriage. One of the simple mechanisms that causes the known trend for women to gain weight after marriage is simply the fact of sharing most meals with somebody who needs more calories than you. I think modern egalitarian marriage likely worsens this effect on a semi-conscious level. One of the memorable anecdotes in "Fat is a Feminist Issue" was an "unenlightened" female saying "Why would a woman need to eat more than one egg?"

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

Postby Ego » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:14 am

Big news on genetic testing:
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/arch ... es/420693/

In one study, Stephen Kingsmore at the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe found that a quarter of mutations that have been linked to childhood genetic diseases are debatable. In some cases, the claims were based on papers that contained extremely weak evidence. In other cases, the claims were plain wrong: The mutations turned out to be common, like the one in Rehm’s anecdote, and couldn’t possibly cause rare diseases.

and


“I think none of us really appreciated just how many rare, nasty-looking genetic variants exist in everyone's genome,” admits MacArthur. That only became clear once geneticists acquired enough money, technological power, and collaborative will to do really big sequencing projects, like the 1,000 Genomes Project. Then, “it became abundantly clear that every single one of us is walking around with hundreds of genetic changes that look like they should cause disease, but actually don't. This means that every genome has ‘narrative potential’—material that you could use to tell a story about diseases.”

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

Postby enigmaT120 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:02 pm

One step up, then fall off the ladder?

Biology is complicated.

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

Postby Ego » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:37 am

Another crossover between epigenetics, microbiome and the human evolution.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010 ... enes-wrong

Epigenetics is the most vivid reason why the popular understanding of evolution might need revising, but it's not the only one. We've learned that huge proportions of the human genome consist of viruses, or virus-like materials, raising the notion that they got there through infection – meaning that natural selection acts not just on random mutations, but on new stuff that's introduced from elsewhere. Relatedly, there is growing evidence, at the level of microbes, of genes being transferred not just vertically, from ancestors to parents to offspring, but also horizontally, between organisms. The researchers Carl Woese and Nigel Goldenfield conclude that, on average, a bacterium may have obtained 10% of its genes from other organisms in its environment.

To an outsider, this is mind-blowing: since most of the history of life on earth has been the history of micro-organisms, the evidence for horizontal transfer suggests that a mainly Darwinian account of evolution may be only the latest version, applicable to the most recent, much more complex forms of life. Perhaps, before that, most evolution was based on horizontal exchange. Which gives rise to a compelling philosophical puzzle: if a genome is what defines an organism, yet those organisms can swap genes freely, what does it even mean to draw a clear line between one organism and another?


He also talks about some of our favorite themes; evolutionary psychology, nature vs nurture, and waist-hip ratio.

7Wannabe5
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:09 am

Interesting. Makes sense to me because I absolutely believe that if I have sex with men who are more physically fit than me ,then I will become more physically fit, even though the mechanism of transfer has not yet been fully formed into paradigm. OTOH, on the basis of my own ongoing experimentation/observation which has level of cookie ingestion well-correlated with degradation of WHR vs. frequency of receiving text message containing the word "sexy" , I tend to hold with the earlier research on this matter.

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

Postby Ego » Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:17 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:Makes sense to me because I absolutely believe that if I have sex with men who are more physically fit than me ,then I will become more physically fit, even though the mechanism of transfer has not yet been fully formed into paradigm.


This is one of those posts I am going to be thinking about for a long time. Yesterday I was doing my best to ignore Mrs. Ego as she paged through a trash-picked fashion magazine while blabbing about how Michael Douglas made Zeta-Jones age much more than her current 46... blah, blah, blah. Hum. Gonna have to ask her about that.

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

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:43 pm

Well, it's not necessarily an older vs. younger thing. Younger people sometimes have worse habits because they feel like they can still "afford" them. OTOH, I'm not necessarily sure that it's a matter of adopting similar habits or practices either. "Smart for a jock" and "cute for a nerd" is a pretty popular pairing or power exchange, so I have not infrequently been partnered with men who try to whip me into shape. Therefore, I have sort of come to expect that some part of the package I might get in exchange for sex is something akin to a personal personal trainer. Unfortunately, it also very quickly becomes evident to anybody who knows me that I can very easily be lured, bribed or "made happy" with offers of treats, so that can sometimes cancel out the personal trainer benefit. Depends.

Toska2
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Postby Toska2 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:41 pm

Tangentially related to epigenetics.

http://newswise.com/articles/view/541865/

"We are finding that today's complicated vertebrate has not invented a lot of new genes to become complicated," said Holland, of the Marine Biology Research Division at Scripps Oceanography. "Amphioxus shows us that vertebrates have taken old genes and recombined them, changed their regulation and perhaps changed the gene function."

enigmaT120
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Postby enigmaT120 » Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:54 pm

That's what I do with old pickups and tractors.

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

Postby BRUTE » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:25 pm

enigma is the god of tractors and pickup trucks.

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

Postby UrbanHermit » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:02 am

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

I've always had a suspicion this is just a causation fallacy.

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

Postby BRUTE » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:43 am

care to elaborate?

enigmaT120
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Postby enigmaT120 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 12:10 pm

I'll guess: he means is it a cause or an effect?

I firmly believe that I don't know.

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

Postby Ego » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:18 pm

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

I've always had a suspicion this is just a causation fallacy.


Well, there is certainly a lot of evidence that things like moods are contagious.
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sc ... al-mimicry

As well as eating habits, drinking habits, sleep schedules, menstrual cycles, television watching, work habits, ...... Mirror neurons and hormones are powerful.

So I am pretty sure the causation fallacy is not at play... but who knows...

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

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:25 pm

Right. Women are on average more happy than men, so that is why on average men gain more happiness from marriage than women. I am naturally even more cheerful than most women, so I have to kind of like run in quick and grab some sex, and maybe a cuddle, and then hurry up and get back home before one of them starts complaining to me about his work, or telling me the proper way to load a dishwasher, or yelling at traffic...etc. etc. etc.

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

Postby Ego » Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:44 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:Right. Women are on average more happy than men, so ......


Hum. How does that jive with the fact that 1 in 4 women but only 1 in 7 men are taking an antidepressant? Or maybe that's the reason women report being happier... ;)


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/opini ... .html?_r=0

7Wannabe5
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Re: You are the average of the five people you spend the most...

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:25 pm

Well, that article was obviously written by a woman with depressive tendencies because she assumes that the opposite of sad/anxious is "dulled of all feeling", rather than something like joyful/enthusiastic. OTOH, I have learned that it is generally considered to be more lady-like to use your feeling words rather than your action words. So, when I am trying to be more lady-like, I try to remember to express my positive feelings, even though like most people in our culture, I have been trained to either not express my feelings or to only express my negative feelings. For example, if you are in a really good mood and you say "Let's go climb Mt. Everest!! " then that is generally seen as a signal of dominance, but if you just say "I am soooo excited!!" or "I feel warm and cozy." or "I like ice cream. Yum. Thank you : )" then you will not be signaling dominance even if you have naturally fairly high serotonin levels or the spirit animal of the bunny in your juvenile feminine quadrant and the spirit animal of the monkey (naturally high dopamine levels) in your juvenile masculine quadrant.

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

Postby jennypenny » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:20 pm

Ego wrote:
7Wannabe5 wrote:Right. Women are on average more happy than men, so ......


Hum. How does that jive with the fact that 1 in 4 women but only 1 in 7 men are taking an antidepressant? Or maybe that's the reason women report being happier... ;)


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/opini ... .html?_r=0

"Medical chart reviews consistently show that doctors are more likely to give women psychiatric medications than men, especially women between the ages of 35 and 64."

That quote explains it. Women are given anti-depressants instead of hormone replacement therapy now that doctors no longer recommend it for most women.

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

Postby Dragline » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:30 pm

Well, you'd probably also have to consider and factor in which gender tends to self-medicate more and which one is more likely to ask for directions. :lol:


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