Given Institute hosts talk on epigenetics | AspenTimes.com

Given Institute hosts talk on epigenetics

Aspen Times Staff

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What if your child was predisposed to develop diabetes as an adult? Or obesity? What if you could take action to prevent it long before it happens?Medical science is working on just that.”Pediatrics in the 21st Century – Treating Children to Prevent Adult Diseases” will be the focus of a presentation tonight at The Given Institute in Aspen.Dr. George J. Dover will give this latest talk as part of the Aspen Given Foundation’s 2005 Summer Health Education Series. The program begins at 5 p.m. with a free family dinner at the Yellow Brick School, followed by Dover’s presentation at The Given Institute, 100 E. Francis St., at 6:30 p.m. Child care will be provided.Dover is the director of the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He will discuss the future of pediatrics and the role of epigenetics, a new field of science. Epigenetics involves turning genes “on” or “off” using environmental factors without altering the genetic code, thereby preventing complex adult-onset diseases long before they become a problem.”Most people think the genetic code locks you into some pre-ordained outcome,” Dover said. “Not so. There are genes that can put you at risk for cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Take, for example, identical twins. While they have the same genetic codes and are raised in the same environment, each twin expresses the genes differently.”One of the incredible opportunities for pediatrics is to begin to learn about those adaptations that we either didn’t know about or took for granted and ask the question, can we correct some of these things so as you get older you can actually not get obesity, develop type-two diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart diseases or other kinds of disorders? This is what epigenetics is all about.”For more information, contact the foundation at 925-3730.