Just like the carneys you see at fair that estimates your weight on sight, science can predict the allergies you may have by loo...
Just like the carneys you see at fair that estimates your weight on sight, science can predict the allergies you may have by looking at your DNA and your birth date. Obviously, science is more complicated than the carnival game but researchers have been able to refine their studies on the cause and symptoms of allergies and have found a link of these allergies with your birthdays and genetic codes.
The direct correlations of your birth day or time with the allergies you may suffer had been known to the scientists for some time. And you are also not unaware about this fact to some extent, the only difference being your realization of the study in a different way.
People born in fall and winter months are prone to both seasonal and non-seasonal allergies (Seasonal allergies are responses to things like pollen and dust whereas non-seasonal relate to one’s immune system like gluten and dairy). This is because of lack of Vitamin D that becomes difficult to gain in reduced sun exposure in darker months. This might also be due to the mother’s limited access to seasonal fruits and vegetables in the pregnancy period.
On the other hand, babies born in summer usually grow up as healthier adults because of adequate sun exposure. But scientists have now found that our DNA can also indicate what allergies we may suffer in the future.
The study has been conducted at the University of Southampton in England. Dr. Gabrielle Lockett is the in-charge and he is working on proving how epigenetic marks can reveal our future allergies. Epigenetic marks are certain markers on our DNA that pre-determine various other things about body along with height and weight.
In an interview with HowStuffWorks, Lockett said
“Researchers have long known that your birth season, as well as certain environmental exposures, like smoking, famine or even your social environment, are associated with certain epigenetic marks and can alter gene expression. They just didn’t know why.”
Lockett and her team analyzed 367 DNA samples of 18 year old individuals who were born on the Isle of Wight in England. They particularly focused on the epigenetic markers called DNA methylation. Methyl groups help in normal reproduction of cells and they can actually turn your genes ‘on’ and ‘off’. An important thing that shall be noted is that when these Methyl groups are depleted, the ‘bad’ genes that cause cancer are turned ‘on’.
Their study concluded that DNA methylation at certain places is associated with the season of birth. They found similar results when they conducted the same study on a group of 8 year olds from Holland. But in case of newborns, these markers were not present. This suggests that epigenetic markers arise after birth or as a result of one’s environment.
Dr. Gabrielle Lockett’s study was published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The research is still continuing and they are expecting to be able to ‘turn off’ our sneezes and sniffles in the future.
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