"Epigenetics is an emerging field of science that studies heritable changes caused by the activation and deactivation of genes without any change in the underlying DNA sequence of the organism. The word epigenetics is of Greek origin and literally means over and above (epi) the genome." (National Human Genome Research Institute
"The epigenome dynamically responds to the environment. Stress, diet, behavior, toxins, and other factors regulate gene expression." (University of Utah
Below are excerpts from Dr. Rachel Yehuda
's unedited conversation with Krista Tippett on July 30, 2015.
"...what we look for when we study the impact of a trauma is how big the event is compared to what usually goes on for a person."
"But the purpose of epigenetic changes I think is simply to increase the repertoire of possible responses. I don't think it's meant to damage or not damage people. It just, it expands the range of biologic responses. And that is, can be a very positive thing when it's needed."
"You cannot run from your past. But maybe you would run farther if you carried your past with you, as long as you can control it, and I think that that is really what we want to understand. We want to understand what it means to have a greater repertoire of behavior..."