Karma and DNA

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you've probably seen me use this photo before, but they're just so cute!

Chong Go Sunim brought up another interesting point during our talks  about Karma and DNA, specifically in identical twins. “One of the really interesting things that researchers have begun to accept is the idea that genes can also be turned on or off. So if the gene is turned off, it has no effect. And in the case of identical twins, the gene can be turned on in one twin and off in the other.”

I found an interesting article online about discordant monozygotic twins (a pair of twins where one twin has a disorder and the other does not) that explained that in the single chromosome we receive from each of our parents, bits of DNA can either be missing or contain multiple copies of a particular bit. In most cases, this has no effect, but it is possible for this mutation to lead to health or developmental problems.

That explains the “what?” but it still leaves the “how?” and “why?” unanswered.

A predictable Buddhist answer  might be, Karma…

4 responses »

  1. One of the really interesting things that researchers have begun to accept is the idea that genes can also be turned on or off. So if the gene is turned off, it has no effect. And in the case of identical twins, the gene can be turned on in one twin and off in the other.

    • haha… That was the point I was going to write about, then once I started, I slipped my mind!
      Thanks for reminding me… (I guess my bowl’s not as big as I thought~)

  2. As the parent of a child born with a chromosomal micro-deletion (# 15 to be precise) I have spent much time trying to understand the why, is it Karma ? mine , hers. In the end it just is. My life has been so enriched by having her in my life. Imagine a child with no ego, always in the moment.
    At any rate one can spin their wheels chasing the why and in the end it doesn’t change the situation. Karma at this point almost becomes the blame game.
    Sorry if this came out rather morose.

    • I really appreciate your comment, actually. I was thinking, while writing this, that it could come off sounding a little cheap to someone who’s actually dealing with it.

      Perhaps it’s all of our Karma. It’s true, though, in the end it just is.

      Given we don’t generally see very deeply into our Karma, I almost feel like it’s a good thing. It would be to easy to just point and say, “Oh, that’s why that happened. You had it coming!”
      Since we can’t do that, I feel we have a greater urge to respond with compassion.

      If it was Karma that lead to your daughter’s condition, perhaps it was also her Karma to have been born to an understanding and responsible father.

      To give a bit of value to the Karma argument, there’s not a whole lot that can be done about our current Karma, but we had the choice to practice and work out what’s with us now.

      Thank you again for your comment, it’s good to be challenged!

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