ghost in our genesOur genes carry unbelievable information of our past. And it is this genetic information, that affects our present, because the only way forward is to look into the past. This documentary film explains genetic science and it’s impact on our future life.

A gene is the basic unit of heredity in a living organism. The field of genetics predates modern molecular biology, but it is now known that all living things depend on DNA to pass on their traits to offspring.

Genetics is a discipline of biology and the science of heredity and variation in living organisms. The fact that living things inherit traits from their parents has been used since prehistoric times to improve crop plants and animals through selective breeding. However, the modern science of genetics, which seeks to understand the process of inheritance, only began with the work of Gregor Mendel in the mid-nineteenth century. Although he did not know the physical basis for heredity, Mendel observed that organisms inherit traits in a discrete manner-these basic units of inheritance are now called genes.

The Gost in our Genes
BBC Documentary


  1. a very exciting discovery. once you know about it, it seems obvious, and that is the hallmark of a landmark. a must-see to add to your understanding of evolution, inheritance, and genetics. maybe lamarck was not that far off the mark

  2. Great! I hope his last words will come true – that it will make people think twice about their actions. I just wonder if its not too late…

  3. Just as we start to think that we have gained lot of knowlege and developed good understanding of genetics, epigentics shows that we have just scratched the surface.

  4. Very interesting topic! The final comment at the end regarding smoking made me scoff a bit. Halfway through the documentary it is mentioned that these epigenetic effects are felt during developmental stages, 3rd trimester of pregnancy, infant, toddler etc.

    If you are a fully grown adult (essentially fully developed) who smokes can you then pass on the epigenetic switch to children/grandchildren to start smoking and possibly develop all of the associated diseases, or will your next generations develop the associated diseases regardless of whether they smoke?

    The underlying question I suppose is; Are there really stages where genetic and epigenetic material is vulnerable to environmental effects?

    I find it difficult to believe that absolutley everything we do in our lives affects our genes, yet some things appear to do exaclty that.. have we got some in-built protective mechanism?

    (the majority of the above is mainly speculation)

  5. I was wondering if any information has been developed on the effect on the genes leading to autism? If so so what are they since we have seen such a spike in this disease over the last few decades.

  6. Are there any thoughts on how this will affect “The Selfish Gene Theory”?

    There are neurodevelopmental findings about early childhood experience which strongly support the relative importance of life experience compared to genetic inheritance. Google Bruce Perry, neuropsychiatrst.

    Other research into psychiatric conditions are unable to find direct links between specific genes and specific diagnostic conditions,like psychosis. They find stronger relationships between environmental factors and heredity. Its very interesting and adds weight to this documentary.

    I definately think they are on the right track. It is sad to find out later that there are higher risks for a genetic disorder among those IVF children. I have seen the same thing in my clinical practice with families, children and youth.

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