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Flawed Genes Cause Less than 1% of All Diseases

daily alternative | alternative news - 'Flawed Genes' Cause Less than 1% of All Diseases

Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer may very well “run in the family”—meaning it’s a trend within your immediate ancestry—but our growing urge to call something inherited is not doing anyone any good. You see, the health concerns we often blame on our parents (or grandparents) are usually within our control. As a matter of fact, it’s estimated that less than 1% of all diseases are caused by flawed genes.

The Human Genome Project, which effectively “mapped” the human genetic code, was completed in 2003. And in that project, scientists learned they were wrong about some things. One of those things was the number of genes in the human DNA. While they expected several hundred thousand—one gene for every protein, in essence—they found only 20,000 to 25,000.

As aptly explains:

There are not even enough genes in the human body to account for the existence of the basic protein building blocks that make it possible, much less explain the behavior of these proteins in health and disease states!

The “blueprint” model of genetics: one gene -> one protein -> one cellular behavior, which was once the holy grail of biology, has now been supplanted by a model of the cell where epigenetic factors (literally: “beyond the control of the gene”) are primary in determining how DNA will be interpreted, translated and expressed. A single gene can be used by the cell to express a multitude of proteins and it is not the DNA itself that determines how or what genes will be expressed.

It’s also important to consider that many foods or activities could also spark an alteration in DNA. For example, some GMO wheat has been shown to silence human genes, potentially leading to an early death. And on the other end, exercise could powerfully change your DNA in just minutes.

So what does this mean for disease and health? That a number of factors contribute to how a gene will be expressed, or if it will. Among these factors, many are within our control. Our environment, what we eat, breathe, and come in contact with will all determine our eventual health and disease.

For example, cystic fibrosis (CF), a “genetic” disease, is caused by the defective expression of a particular gene—known as the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR). The defective expression, scientists have learned, can be “triggered” by nutritional deficiencies. Further, this particular gene has been shown in the lab to experience partial or even full correction when exposed to the beneficial compounds known as phytochemicals in cayenne, soybean, and turmeric!

Accepting responsibility for disease existence can lead to prevention. What I mean is that when you recognize your own active role in the health of your body, you embrace the power to change it. We can no longer blame our “genes” for what ails us. Armed with this knowledge, what will you do about it?


daily alternative | alternative news – ‘Flawed Genes’ Cause Less than 1% of All Diseases

via ‘Flawed Genes’ Cause Less than 1% of All Diseases.

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Health & Science

Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

A controversial deal between tech giant Google and the National Health Service (NHS) will allow artificial intelligence units access to 1.6 million confidential medical records. Since 2014, Google has partnered with several scientists in an attempt to understand human health, but a new report reveals the data gathering goes far beyond what was originally anticipated.

According to documents obtained by the New Scientist, the data sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust gives access to the sensitive healthcare data of millions of NHS patients. The chilling and wide-reaching deal allows DeepMind access to the medical records of the 1.6 million people passing annually through the three London hospitals owned by the Trust — Barnet, Chase Farm, and the Royal Free.

The Google-owned A.I. firm announced in February it was working with the NHS to build an app called Streams — intended to help hospitals monitor patients with kidney disease. However, the new information has revealed that the extent of the data being shared goes much further and includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, records of the location and status of patients, and even logs of who visits them and when.

Results of pathology and radiology tests are also shared, as is information from critical care and accident and emergency departments. In addition, DeepMind’s access to the centralised records of all NHS hospital treatments in the U.K. means the tech company can access historical data from the last five years, all while receiving a continuous stream of new data.

At the same time, DeepMind is developing a platform called Patient Rescue, which uses hospital data streams to build tools to carry out analysis and support diagnostic decisions. The New Scientist explained how it works:

Comparing a new patient’s information with millions of other cases, Patient Rescue might be able to predict that they are in the early stages of a disease that has not yet become symptomatic, for example. Doctors could then run tests to see if the prediction is correct.

While the Royal Free has not yet responded to the question of what — if any — opt-out mechanisms are available to patients, the New Scientist suggests this is unlikely to be a straightforward process. Despite the agreement stating Google cannot use the data in any other part of the company’s business, many will be seriously wary of the access the online tech giant now has to the confidential data of millions of people.

As the New Scientist wrote:

Data mining is the name of the game in the burgeoning field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and there’s no company in the world better at that than Google.


daily alternative | alternative news – Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

via Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records.

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