September 17


Epigenetics and the influence of our genes | Courtney Griffins | TEDxOU

By heheals

September 17, 2020

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED conferences.
Because we want to understand what genes are required for blood vessel development, Courtney Griffin studies certain enzymes that help turn genes on and off. These enzymes are specifically involved in relaxing DNA that is normally tightly coiled up in our cells.



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  1. Thank you and Courtney Griffin for the wonderful video!
    One question (and I must apologize in advance – I am in no way any expert in the area, just have read this and that):
    it is mentioned in the video at 7:20, that there are "not so many" epigenetic marks on the genome in the beginning, and that they begin to appear later in development, as the cells start to divide and receive signals from outside.
    However, what I have read elsewhere, says the oppozite: the zygote – as the ultimate "stem cell" – has most of its genome silenced and genes non-transcribed. And it is early in the blastocyst stage that some of these epigenetic marks (particularly methylgroups) are removed from DNA and acetylgroups added to histones, thus beginning to "lead" the cell towards a certain genetic/developmental trail.
    I have read, that in mice silent genomen becomes not-fully-silent around mid-1-cell stage, although more transcription begins at 2-cell stage. Not sure if it is different in humans.
    Will appreciate the explanation.

  2. Anyone else annoyed by 15:02 "Scientists are designing drugs that can reverse toxic epigenetic marks"?
    Must they always develop a pill for profit when free solutions are available? Always searching for shortcuts, profit and/or power 😑

  3. The evidence in this talk is as true as far was we can know. I would like to point out a few things:
    1) a lot of epigenetic information can be changed at some point, but if the reason your DNA is being read incorrectly is due to cell aging (apoptosis/mitosis) there is good chance that the telomeres at the ends of you chromosomes are pretty well toast and there is no bringing that cell back… as far as I know.
    2) Be careful about how much weight you lend to this argument as not everything is caused by epigenetic factors, and dosage effects can change the game. So this is not a reason to blame mothers for children born with autism/ADHD/Down syndrome/etc, there are many correlations but you can also find very convincing correlational evidence between consumption of certain cheese and divorce rates, correlation is not causation.
    3)The factors that can effect changes to an epigenetic code are not always within your control (e.g. being exposed to certain biohazards that you may be unaware of or are aware of but the risks are small, small does not mean absent.) So as much as making healthy choices is… well healthy for you, this information does not give salience to any inclination to blame yourself or others for any/all negative health conditions with which a person may be living.

  4. what I don't understand is what study on silencing drugs underway for trials is she referring too? I searched and the earliest research paper on even the prospect of such a lab expmt is from 2018 and this talk is from 2010 o.O is she from the future??

  5. Most doctors, and I mean MOSTTTTTT, doctors that deal with pregnant women or nutrition during these times, do NOT even know half of this information!! That is how badly trained or informed they are from school to dealing with someone's life, let alone latent life.

    Dont belive me?? next time ask them any of these information, and see how they get pissed for you daring to even ask. Orrrrrr they give you the wrong info since you got a bit informed with these videos. They are trained to not show any doubt and speak with absolute certainty. They are not doctors as the ideal is supposed to be, they are more akin to technicians. That is why I believe anyone who wants to be a doctor should be forced to become a MECHANICAL engineer first, then become a "doctor" since as it is now, they become something like CIVIL engineers, they got the title but not the knowledge. Paediatricians are the worst.

  6. This is one of the most amazing lectures of Epigenetics. Ummm, now I can understand that is now everything is lost. Means if our parents had bad habits, as not eating healthy and another things against our bodies, we can change and be healthy…

  7. Amazingly interesting. I must know more about the different ways these genes can be affected. Drugs and naturally. As profound as it is to learn about this stuff, it makes sense doesn't it? BTW, she is beautiful.

  8. A subject that fascinates! as one of four adopted children all very different in many ways..however the “attachment theory” influences the potential for biases that draws attention to the overriding concept that attachment has to be integrated with nurture and then ifof course nature which is imbedded in our genes..these integrated issues affect who we are..

  9. I was given away at birth but I met my birth mom and 3 sisters when I was 15 . Over all we act very similar but me and my sister who is 1 yr older than me act very similar almost identical , she is just like me but more pretty the only difference we have is my addictive gene but her son does ..

  10. With all this genetic proof of living the best and longest life by just eating a good diet without overeating and exercising at least 3.5 times/week, has it had any effect in the masses of people that are obese?

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