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What is a good, interesting paleo topic for my genetics course?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 05, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Hey all,

I need to do a genetics paper, and it's pretty free reign.

This is the assignment:

The Final Project A term paper is required. The term paper is due when you turn in your final assignment. Please submit the paper as a Microsoft Word document in the drop box found at the end of Module 10. It should be 10 to 15 pages, double-spaced (including references). The paper can be about almost any topic in genetics, but a topic outline must be submitted to me for approval no later than the assignment for Module 7. In general, try to pose a question or problem and then try to answer or solve your postulate. Alternatively, you may want to compare and contrast two scientific papers you find interesting. You will need to use at minimum five outside sources, all peer-reviewed journals or books, in the preparation of your work. There are a number of excellent places to look for topic ideas. Your local university library carries numerous specialized scientific journals that may be comprehensible to an ambitious few. A number of general scientific journals like Science and Nature have parts that would be quite accessible to anyone taking this course. Furthermore, your local public library probably carries Scientific American, an excellent journal with outstanding articles written by leaders in the field. Also, newspapers and television news programs are now becoming much more sophisticated in covering breaking stories about AIDS, cancer, stem cell research, and cloning. Also, the World Wide Web has an enormous amount of information on topics in genetics. Security of academic integrity regarding the final project is addressed by the consistency of the student's voice through interactions with the instructor throughout the course. The instructor becomes familiar with the student by way of written communication via e-mail, discussion forums (if any), and assignments. In a manner similar to that of a classroom course, this enables the instructor to determine that course work is being completed by one individual.

My instructor appears to be very nice (though I can't tell... it's online!). He seems pretty open. This paper has to be somewhat long, genetics related, and interesting (for my sake).

I've been wracking my brain to figure out a good PALEO topic. I was thinking something along cancer - genetics vs environment or something??

Thanks all, Kara

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on January 05, 2013
at 08:52 PM

Thank you! Considering I'm celiac of Mediterranean descent, that would be an interesting topic!

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on January 05, 2013
at 08:51 PM

Ahhh... Epigenetics. That's exactly the type of topic I was looking for. I was going to do something "specific" like Type 1 vs Type 2 diabetes, and genetic expression. But your idea would encompass everything. Thank you for the interesting topic!

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 05, 2013
at 07:36 PM

I agree, epigenetics is what's up; check out Dr. Jack Kruse he talks and talks about the epigenetic effects of diet, of lifestyle, etc. In fact, he pretty much coined the term "epi-paleo", like the epigenetic effects of paleo, you know.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on January 05, 2013
at 07:31 PM

Epigenetics seems to be where it's at these days. Effects of diet on genetic expression?

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2 Answers

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on January 19, 2013
at 09:34 PM

How substantial the alteration of our genetics has been since the neolithic? I don't know whether that meets the remit or is too macro an issue.

Consider this summary of the debate on wikipedia:

According to Alexander Str??hle, Maike Wolters and Andreas Hahn, with the Department of Food Science at the University of Hanover, the statement that the human genome evolved during the Pleistocene (a period from 1,808,000 to 11,550 years ago) rests on controversial gene-centered view of evolution.[22] They rely on Gray (2001)[81] to argue that evolution of organisms cannot be reduced to the genetic level with reference to mutation and that there is no one-to-one relationship between genotype and phenotype.[22]

They further question the notion that 10,000 years is an insufficient period of time to ensure an adequate adaptation to agrarian diets.[22] For example, alleles conferring lactose tolerance increased to high frequencies in Europe just a few thousand years after animal husbandry was invented, and recent increases in the number of copies of the gene for salivary amylase, which digests starch, appear to be related to agriculture.[citation needed] Referring to Wilson (1994),[82] Str??hle et al. argue that "the number of generations that a species existed in the old environment was irrelevant, and that the response to the change of the environment of a species would depend on the heritability of the traits, the intensity of selection and the number of generations that selection acts."[83] They state that if the diet of Neolithic agriculturalists had been in discordance with their physiology, then this would have created a selection pressure for evolutionary change and modern humans, such as Europeans, whose ancestors have subsisted on agrarian diets for 400???500 generations should be somehow adequately adapted to it... S. Boyd Eaton and colleagues have indicated that "comparative genetic data provide compelling evidence against the contention that long exposure to agricultural and industrial circumstances has distanced us, genetically, from our Stone Age ancestors";[12] however, they mention exceptions such as increased lactose and gluten tolerance, which improve ability to digest dairy and grains, while other studies indicate that human adaptive evolution has accelerated since the Paleolithic.[84]

1
A3a4696c919e916ec971691559e9c942

(2043)

on January 05, 2013
at 08:03 PM

What about celiac disease and HLA subtypes and then correlating with ethnicity or geographic region?

7dab2d8c97e44d8d0c298e5c9d5d75bc

(641)

on January 05, 2013
at 08:52 PM

Thank you! Considering I'm celiac of Mediterranean descent, that would be an interesting topic!

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