Is it time to retire ‘good genes,’ ‘bad genes’ distinction?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

We tend to think of good genes as the ones that make us thin, calm, cheerful and healthy. This logical assumption may not be completely accurate: Dr. Lee Goldman suggests that even better genes may be the ones that make us fat, anxious and candidates for the services of a cardiologist like himself.

It’s all a matter of perspective, and Dr. Goldman takes the long, long view in “Too Much of a Good Thing,” arguing that many common modern ills result from the surpassingly excellent genes that allowed our species to endure over the millenniums. Only very recently did these survivor genes turn on us, creating the collection of overweight, hypertensive, jumpy and miserable individuals we are today.

For our hunter-gatherer forebears to survive, he reminds us, they had to enthusiastically consume large quantities of food when food was available. They had to scarf up substantial amounts of salt and water as well — the unique human ability to sweat profusely and keep the body cool by evaporation gave hunters the stamina to keep up with their prey.

When it comes to food, we are programmed to ingest more calories than we need. Some triggers are social, but many more are inherent in the body’s workings. Our taste buds prefer calorie-laden items to others. Our intestines efficiently extract those calories from ingested food. Our bodies fight weight loss with an assortment of hormones and appetite-stimulating molecules that are revved up when pounds disappear and may stay elevated for years.

Read full, original post: Review: ‘Too Much of a Good Thing’ Finds a Dilemma in Our DNA

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend