April 8 (EIRNS)—In a groundbreaking study, researchers at Chicago’s Northwestern University have determined that—beyond all its other known de-humanizing effects—poverty actually attacks the DNA of its victims.
Published in the February issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the study is based on a 35-year investigation (begun in 1983) of poverty-stricken children in the Philippines. Originally intended to be a 2-year study of 3,327 pregnant mothers, researchers from the U.S. kept in contact with their Philippine counterparts, and the long-term picture began to emerge.
“Researchers started to look at the long-term health effects of the environments children grew up in had on them as adults,” Thomas McDade told the Chicago Tribune, which wrote this up today. A professor of anthropology and faculty fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research, McDade explained that, prior to this, someone’s health was mostly thought to be determined by inherited genes and a person’s current environment, such as if the person smoked. What the researchers found was that, beyond the simple cataloguing of someone’s “genetic make-up,” was the question of “gene expression”—the likelihood of any one particular gene “expressing” itself in the life cycle—was a variable factor, and that environmental factors had significant influence. “What shapes whether a gene is expressed or not is a whole layer of regulation on top of the gene sequence that you inherit from your parents,” McDade said.
From the Tribune: “What researchers found by following the children through adulthood is that the cells remembered experiences from early in life that then had an effect on gene expression. This type of expression that goes on in a human body is correlated to whether a person will develop diseases. The DNA sequences, which are inherited from a person’s parents, did not change.”
A huge blow to all statistical analysts (at insurance companies and oligarchic research institutes), this study serves as further proof that, by eliminating poverty, the Chinese are doing more than just saving lives, they’re saving the gene pool of the entire human species.