How is my research linked to epigenetics?

In late 1960’s I began “cloning” stem cells. I would isolate one stem cell and put it in a culture dish by itself.  The cell divides every 10-12 hours. After two weeks in culture, I have thousands if cells … all genetically identical (derived from the same parent).  I split the population into three groups and inoculate each group into its own tissue culture dish.  I introduce a different culture medium into each of the three dishes (the culture medium is the cell’s environment). In one dish the cells form bone, in one dish the cells form muscle and in the third dish the cells form fat cells.  POINT: What control’s the “fate” of the cells?  The environment.

These studies were carried out through the early 1970’s, a time when science was entrenched with the idea of “genetic determinism,” the belief that genes control life.  My experiments revealed another reality, yet my colleagues generally ignored the findings and attributed them to “exceptions” or anomalies.  Unfortunately, they just didn’t get it … there are NO anomalies/exceptions,! Their appearances mean that we don’t understand something. The data revealed that the genes were simply “potentials” and that the environment controlled gene activity.  Change the environment and change the fate of the cells.

I researched the possible mechanisms by which environmental information controlled cell functions.  In the late 1970’s, my studies on the control mechanism that led to my insights about the cell membrane being the “brain” of the cell were and still are ahead of conventional science’s belief in the nucleus as a cell’s control center. The insights of my work were part of a relatively new and currently important field of science now known as Signal Transduction, the science of how a cell converts environmental awareness into behavior. Epigenetics is a specialized “subfield” of signal transduction (“founded in the mid 1990’s), is a study concerned with how environmental information is translated into gene regulation.  That’s my connection with epigenetics.

A similar story about a biologist (Mina Bissell) recognizing the role of environment in controlling genes is in the attached article from the Oakland paper. I was ~15 years ahead … but who’s counting?

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8 thoughts on “How is my research linked to epigenetics?

  1. Dear Bruce,
    Biology of Belief has become my bible and you are my hero! Thank you for having the courage of your convictions! Thank you for sharing your findings, your knowledge, your passion, your gift! Your books and talks have helped me understand life! but most of all you helped me understand and accept with immense love my daughter’s choices who after completing 12 years in medicine and a medley of science degrees she chose to follow her path in Quantum Medicine and Epigenetics. .

  2. So, you mean you are the inventer of epigenetics? We know as a part of commonsense, how the environment influences our behavior. But I can see that, the same observations we have carried to the cellular levels. Connecting the gross with the subtle. Some where you have quoted that they objected your writing about mind. I disagree. It should be with the soul. That confusion exists today too. Are the soul and mind are really distinct? This is where we need clarity. That is why they use the word no mind in Budhism and universal mind in other parlors. So those are connections even subtler than epigenetics, isn’t it? and even beautiful, quantum physics, mind over matter. So we need clarity on things like soul and mind and individual soull and universal soul. This is where I find some people get rid of the soul and refer mind and universal mind. Please think over very finely and deeply about these asoects and let us know. After all, I know very well why the highest education in science is known as doctor of philosophy!!! and they tell you, dont talk philosophy!!!

  3. Interesting thoughts. Are we quibbling over words?
    “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao
    The name that can be named is not the Eternal Name.
    The unnameable is the eternally real.
    Naming is the origin of particular things.”
    Lao Tzu

  4. When I first heard the “epigenetics,” I thought, “Wait, isn’t that what Bruce has been saying all these years?” It’s good that you have more sciencey-types joining your community! 🙂

  5. Bruce Lipton is brilliant, both in mind and in the courage to be so clear about issues that so many are not ready to take in. My own work has shown me that when fear is present in the body, it greatly inhibits the natural healing abilities of the body. And what is fear? It is nothing more than an environment – what we think, our feelings, our emotions – all that and more makes up the environment………… thank you, Bruce.
    .

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