Confused? Allow me to explain.
The human body is made of trillions of cells. Each of these cells contains within them proteins that define how we look and appear to others.
These proteins are called ‘genes’, often called DNA in the medical world.
There are literally billions and billions of copies of DNA in our body, and DNA is unique to that individual. DNA, or De-oxyribo Nucleic Acid, is inherited from our parents and is responsible for our genetic makeup.
99.5% of the parent’s DNA is shared by the children.
This would explain why we share features similar to our parents (interestingly around 40% of the DNA we have is similar to the cabbage!).
Research conducted in Oxford University has shown that DNA could dictate if we are right or left handed. Clinical conditions such as Down syndrome, schizophrenia and other disorders are all linked to faulty DNA.
In the recent years, much attention is being paid to whether our DNA has something to do with our behavior. While the jury is still out on this one, the link to behavior is now being explored and used in the courts of law in the US .
It would be interesting to see what transpires regarding this theory, and how it might be twisted in the future to win court battles. Until then, let us safely assume that our behavior is dictated by influence from family, society and our peers.
In a sense, DNA dictates how we appear to others – the color of our hair, our eyes and our height. How we behave is completely up to us.
Dr Vivek Baliga is a medical practitioner and the director of a diagnostic center – Baliga Diagnostics – in Bangalore. He specializes in diabetes and heart disease, and is a visiting consultant in Internal Medicine at corporate hospitals. He is married and has one son.