The Social Life of Genes

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: August 28, 2013

Excerpt: “…we share 99% of our genome with chimpanzees, but we are built differently because so many of the shared genes act differently during development. Robinson — and this paper — are saying that the same goes for behavior: Our differences and individuality arise not just partly but mainly  because our shared genes behave differently. Figuring out why they do so is at least as important as figuring out what our genetic differences are.
My comment: Genes do not “behave.” Organisms exhibit genetically predisposed behaviors that are experience-dependent. Epigenetic effects of sensory input on genes links experience with olfactory/pheromonal input directly to species differences in behavior because pheromones are species specific.
Excerpt: “I’ve a feature on “The Social Life of Genes” coming out in Pacific Standard next week, which I discussed yesterday on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show.”
My comment: It will be interesting to see how long it takes Dobbs to realize that “the social life of genes” is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man and that there is a model for that.

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