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Health News Fri, 19 Jun 2020

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Your environment can change your DNA – Psychologist

When we are born, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in our bodies contains the blueprints for who we are and instructions for who we will become, says HertMah researchers.

For example, it can tell our eyes to eventually turn from blue at birth to hazel later on, our length to grow from 20 inches to 70, and direct a multitude of other changes over the course of our lives.

However, an addictive behavior psychologist, Dr. Annie Gaisie has stated that the human environment can alter one's DNA.

Dr Gaisie in an interview with GhanaWeb says external factors of the human environment such as relationships and surroundings, affect what happens in one's brain which in return alters or mutates the person's DNA.

“Your genes pretty much affects every aspect of your life. It can play a role in your physical features to your personality traits to your lifestyle habits. Your genes can even influence your love life in ways that you may not even be aware of.

Our environment affects us so if someone is in a relationship and the relationship is very healthy or unhealthy, it does affect the person’s DNA”, she explained.

Supporting comments made by Dr. Gaisie, a resident doctor at the Department of Family Medicine at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Ernest Anim Opare added that radiation, drugs, and other chemicals can also mutate one's DNA over a period of time.

Citing the Hiroshima bombing that occurred on August 6, 1945, as an example, the doctor stressed that the exercise changed the DNA makeup of persons who were exposed to the bombing at that time due to the chemical composition of that bomb.

He intimated, "If someone was born at the time of Hiroshima bombing and that bombing was supposed to affect or lead to certain deformities that person may not show the exact complications of that exposure but because it integrates into the DNA a baby from such person will have all the deformities and its related complications”.

What is DNA?

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth, and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids.

The information in DNA is stored as a code made up of four chemical bases: adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T). Human DNA consists of about 3 billion bases, and more than 99 percent of those bases are the same in all people.

The order, or sequence, of these bases, determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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