Re: We are our genes

Clint O'Dell (
Tue, 07 Sep 1999 14:42:42 MDT

>So, I thought I would throw out a few tidbits from the
>Sept. 1999 issue of the newsletter:
>a) Scientists at the Univ. of Cambridge, INSERM and the firm
> Bioproject have developed a drug BP-897, that has specificity
> for the D3-dopamine receptors (over the D1/D2/D4). The drug
> appears to suppress the stimulus associated "cravings" that
> occur following withdrawal in cocaine addicted rats. They
> speculate that this could suppress the cravings that occur in
> other with other addictions such as nicotine or heroin.
>b) A recently discovered 28-mer peptide called "orexin B" which may
> be identical to the separately discovered "hypocretin-2" appears
> to be the molecule that keeps you awake. Stanford and UTSMC
> groups have separately verified that in dogs with defective
> receptors for this molecule and mice with the orexin B knocked
> out suffer from narcolepsy (falling asleep in the middle of
> activities). The molecule also appears to be involved in
> regulating appetite.
>c) Two proteins cryptochrome-1 and -2, found which are concentrated
> in the eye appear to be the light-sensitive sensors that mediate
> the resetting of the circadian functions.
>So, we have "cravings", "wakefullness", "appetite" and "body
>rhythms" under the control of these little molecules. I believe
>that I may have mentioned in a previous post that leptin appears
>to be the hormone for triggering sexual maturation.
>Since we have only scratched the tip of the iceberg, I think the
>people who want to believe "I *am* my own master", have their
>work cut out for them in defending, what I predict will be an
>ever shrinking set of characteristics, behaviors, desires, motivations,
>etc. of which they are the master. Yes, we can modify ourselves,
>but our degrees of freedom are *limited*, until we have the
>technologies to change the hardware.

True, but
Actualy you have more control over your personality and thus what you do than you seem to let on. It's what you do that differs from what someone else does in the same situation which we may see some control. If not "real control" then reactions based from memories that create the personality. Some behaviors such as those the article mentioned, like cravings, may indeed be geneticly based. But it's what you do about it that is absolutely not genetic. Also thoughts and experiences do change brain hardware. You don't have to do that with surgery. Because new thoughts create new links you can completely rewire 'parts' of the brain totaly by thoughts and conditions you set up. If you know enough about what kind of memories are stored where and exactly what happens as new connections are made you should be able to control this rewiring by thought and controlled events.

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