Putting On My Summer Genes, Do You Have Seasonal DNA?

Putting On My Summer Genes, Do You Have Seasonal DNA?

We've heard of seasonal eating but seasonal DNA? According to some recent research our DNA may be seasonal as well.

How often do people complain about achey bones and inflammation in the summer? We don’t. You see your genes uncoil in your blood and messengers send codes containing the blueprints for proteins to protect you from the harsh diseases of the cold weather. Trillions of these little T- cells are born tonight the diseases of cold and flu season. They don't need to do this in the warmer months. Now this isn't the case in areas where there is no snow, for other areas you may see the change during the rainy season. This might sound crazy toy but the more research they are doing the more convinced science is becoming that our DNA is somehow affected by the seasons. 

 Check out the new study released in Nature Communications  which shows that one fifth of all genes in white blood cells undergo seasonal changes expression. In the winter this study showed that your blood contains a denser blend of immune responders, while in the summer our blood contains a higher level of fat burning, body building, water retaining hormones…  

Could this provide some insight into inflammatory diseases such as hypertension or autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes? 

Every cell in your body has the same genetic code, but each specializes in certain bits of that code—specialization controlled by how tightly your DNA is spooled around structures called histones. This is different from the twist of the double helix, and is instead like the curling of an old-school phone cord. The outside of the spools are coated in molecules called methyl markers. Under certain conditions, the methyl markers flag a gene, and the section will uncoil. That gene is now exposed to messenger RNA, which picks up the code and begins the process of making  proteins.

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 “Inflammation is the bodies response to harm, and in the winter we are more susceptible to harm.”
                                -Chris Wallace, immunogenetics at Cambridge University
Is it the warmer weather? The length of the day? While our cells all have the same genetic code, each specializes in certain bits of that code. Her is where it gets a little nerdy. When I say specialized I am referring to specialization controlled by how tightly our DNA is spooled around structures called histones
Having an aggressive immune system is not a good thing, especially for those predisposed to autoimmune disease. It increases your risk of developing autoimmune disorders and puts us at risk of cardiovascular disease. Although the triggers are still not known as to why exactly these changes occur seasonally, is it the weather? Is it due to us staying indoors more? Could it be that we are eating different foods? Although taking into account cultural diversityI would be hesitant to lay blame solemn that one.
Time will tell in this new and developing research, I can’t wait to see what they find. 

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