We venture futher into the field of “new biology” and Dr. Bruce Lipton continues to be a dynamic and exciting narrator. He does tend to lay on the jargon and terminology quite a bit, but he offers some pretty good explanations in order to make the information relevant and understandable.
In this chapter, we focus on one notion – “it’s the environment, stupid”. This mantra keeps cropping up in relation to the study of cellular behavior. The cells, apparently, are greatly affected by their environments and retain the qualities of their lives while living in a particular environment.
First, Dr. Lipton reminds us, that we must remember that the concept that genes control biology is a theory. A theory, it turns out, that is based on hype and not on actual results – in fact, the latest research has demonstrated that this hypothesis is false. “When a gene product is needed, a signal from the environment, not an emergent property of the gene itself, activates expression of that gene.” (Lipton, The Biology of Belief, p. 52)
The truth is, it turns out, proteins are the most important parts of cells. Each protein is composed of a string of amino acids that are found along a flexible, peptide bonds. These bonds allow for the proteins to take on whatever shape required, which is based on the electromagnetic charges of the elements found along the protein’s string. Once these proteins take their shape, they can alter their shapes if the electromagnetic properties change due to several factors at the molecular level. These uniquely shaped proteins begin to interact with other uniquely shaped proteins much in the same way as gears work together to create motion and animation. The driving force, it seems, is the electromagnetic forces coming to play in the shaping of the protein molecules. This constant moving and shifting is the movement that propels life.
It was once believed that DNA was the primal force in the life of cells. The doctrine of “primacy of DNA” followed that there was one direction of information within the cell – from DNA to RNA to protein. Turns out, this is not true. The field of epigenetics stresses the importance of proteins and has now changed the doctrine of the “primacy of DNA” to work a bit differently: Environmental Signal to Regulatory Protein to DNA to RNA to Protein – AND back! Instead of just a one way street, a signal can actualy go back up the chain as well.
So traits of living things are not simply the result of the blueprint contained within their genes. In fact, living things, at their heart, are collections of systems of cells and if we understand how cells work then we understand how lifeforms are composed. As it turns out, Dr. Bruce Lipton is stating that the environment within which a cell lives has a direct effect on the information that is to be recorded in the gene. More importantly, this information is passed on generation to generation within the cell world. In other words, we shouldn’t look at someone’s genes but at the factors that went into shaping those genes in the first place. The biggest factor to examine straight away? The environment within which the cells had to live.