Monday, August 11, 2014

The Future is Now

I'm honored to be a guest today over at Mainewords where I've been interviewed by Marcy. I hope you'll stop in and hear all about my latest release, The Marine's Doctor. This is the third and final book in my Recon Marines science fiction trilogy from New Concepts Publishing. I hope you'll visit me there.

As someone with a biology minor and having been a health teacher for more years than I want you to know, I have a strong interest in science. One of the areas I find the most fascinating is the exciting advances in genetics. The cures for so many diseases may rest on our understanding of the human genetic puzzle. Since my fictional Recon Marines are genetically engineered soldiers, I thought I'd share some interesting genetic discoveries.

This first article shares the discovery that we tend to pick friends who share genetic similarities with us. Our friends are usually enough like us to be our fourth cousins. Now most of us don't even know our fourth cousins but researchers say that one percent match is significant. The most common shared gene between friends is the 'smell' gene. We pick friends who like and dislike the same odors as we do.

Some disturbing findings coming out of genetic research is that a mother's diet during pregnancy can alter the fetus' DNA. These permanent changes may influence development throughout life and who knows what else. Another worrisome idea is that the more we learn about genetic differences in people the more certain ridiculous people might use such findings as basis for discrimination. There are already people who have suggested that early genetic testing and intelligence tests could be used to separate children into different schools or courses of study in early childhood. Scary, isn't it?

Have you visited Mainewords today yet? Do you know your fourth cousin? Are you surprised to learn your friends are more similar to you than you expected? Do you find the other two findings as unsettling as I do?


  1. Discrimination? How terrible.
    I have a poor sense of smell. I'll have to ask my friends if they do as well.
    And already visit Marcy this morning!

  2. That could be why lots of married couples look like they go together too, smell together, live together lol no matter what it is anything can be used for bad and some idiots will come up with the discrimination crap. With all the garbage in the food now a days, not hard to believe the mother one either

  3. It doesn't surprise me that what a mother eats can affect her unborn child. When I see what some people have in their shopping cart...yikes.

  4. Most people eat junk, which is not good. I can only imagine what all that processed food is doing to us and to the next generation.

  5. Some of the research is leading down terrifying paths - well, only terrifying if people mis-use the new knowledge!

  6. I am not at all surprised that a mother's diet can permanently alter the baby she's carrying.

    I didn't know that business about choosing our friends based on liking the same smells... although that doesn't surprise me. We make so many decisions unconsciously. Or maybe at the cellular level is more true.

    The idea of separating babies based on their genetic material and attempting to pigeon hole them is... frightening. Science is always wrong when it doesn't take into account our humanity and fighting spirit. Some people are born predisposed to specific talents... but lack ambition... so it doesn't manifest. Others have to work six times as hard but have an unflagging desire to succeed. I would put my money on that person over the first every time. DNA cannot see into the heart and desires of a person.

    Susan... that feels like an excellent story idea!

  7. Interesting thoughts all. I have two particularly close friends and I'd be interested in the genetic comparison.

  8. The discrimination part is horrible! However, my oldest teen daughter thinks the genetic changes based on a mother's diet are fascinating because of our family's history of food intolerances and allergies. She hopes that information will become more complete and that someone in our family will be able to break the food intolerance/allergy cycle eventually.

  9. Intriguing ideas. I do have a friend who ate peanut butter during her entire pregnancy and ended up giving birth to a daughter who is allergic to peanut butter.

    Heading over to Marcy's now.

  10. I'd read once about choosing partners (and refusing partners) based on smell.

    All I know is if they bathe in cologne, I won't be visiting them any time soon. :)

  11. I do find it disturbing that we could discriminate on a genetic basis. It makes me think of the movie with Ethan Hawke in it. Can't think of the title just now. I'm not surprised about the scent thing, but only because I've read a lot on things our sense of smell determines without conscious thought. Congratulations on your recent release!

  12. Genetics is fascinating. I have a poor memory--I think my friends memories are okay, though. I think my poor memory is due to how much fun I had in the 1970s. LOL.
    I do think that like attracts like, though. But seriously, discriminating based on genetics. Ridiculous!