By Samarjit Kambam
Now-a-days everybody talk about ‘genes’. Without the slightest idea one would tell another, “Its because of your genes”. Well, talking about genes is in vogue. In fact it has become fashionable to talk about genes. But it is easily mentioned than understood. In the meantime, when we talk about “Genes” some people get confused and asked “Which kind of Jeans? Levi’s, Wrangler, Lee, Calvin Klein, Cannabis etc,. Well, to make things simpler, every living organisms including we the humans are made up of cells which are the structural and functional unit of life. Each cell is made up of many components out of which Nucleus is one of the main components which plays a major role in cell division . Nucleus comprises of Chromosomes – a thread like structure which occur in pairs, made up of proteins called Histones and ends up in a highly coiled twisted ladder like structure called “Double Helix” where clusters of DNA(De-Oxyribo Nucleic Acid) molecules are randomly arranged and attached. A ‘Gene’ is a section of sequence of these DNA arrangements in the Double Helix. Genes play a major role in all life forms including inheritance, traits, evolution, mutation etc., and as such the genetic sequence are different from one person to another. Thus arise the differences among people in many traits such as appearance, colour of skin, hair, behavioral pattern, strength, receptiveness, physical structure etc. etc,.
We the humans are the species which occupy the top slot of the food chain among all varieties of species in the world. The humans are a cut above the rest of other species in the world for each one of us are gifted with a brain quite superior than that of other species and through the brain each human possesses a mind that can think independently, rationally, have memorising power, can make decisions and have “Will” power which can be harnessed and the degree of harnessing the will power differs from one person to another. Even though every humans have got brains, there are slight differences in some aspects such as thought pattern, receptiveness, reflexes, adaptability, sustainability, IQ etc., amongst all humans. A person of great will power can achieve what others consider as impossible. “Control your mind and you can control the universe” is a quote I’ve found somewhere. In fact, it is the combination of a frame of mindset and the will power that makes us what we are. Famous persons of the world have great will power by harnessing their mind in a positive and powerful way to a great extent. In fact, a lot depends on how we think, how we control our mind that gives us the apparels of attitude which we possess. Sadhus and yogis can sit in the foothill of the Himalayas without hardly any clothing. They can make themselves ‘sweat’ in the icy environment of the Himalayas. Such is the power of the human brain. The difference lies in how we channelise the power of our mind by our brain. Abraham Lincoln had had a long series of failures before he became the President of United States because of his indomitable spirit which came out of great control of his mind alongwith a ‘never say die’ attitude.
But there are many other traits in us humans that are beyond the control of our mind. As they say “like father, like son” some traits or set of characters or attributes get transgressed from one generation to another. Most children of singers possess singing talents, prodigies of most actors are born with talent for acting. Some persons get bald or have grey hair at a very young age, some ages faster contrary to their age, some suffer from diabetes, some from piles, some from congenital albinism, some from colour blindness, some from cancer and many other diseases and deformities, some are short tempered, some are belligerent, some are very compassionate since birth, some are psychotic, some suffer from OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), some gets Alzhiemer’s Dementia, some are traumatic, some are brainy and strong since birth while some are skinny, some are born deaf, some dumb, some blind, some are born beautiful, some handsome and some ugly which are beyond our control however great one’s will power is. And honestly speaking, for us guys, when it comes down to ‘looks’ who would not want to look like Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Mel Gibson, Johnny Depp, Jason Statham, Nocholas Cage, Sylvester Stallone, Robert Pattinson, Christian Bale, Sam Worthington, Leonardo di-Caprio, Mark Wahlberg etc., and which gals or ladies wouldn’t want to look like Alicia Silverstone, Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Catherine Zeeta Jones, Kate Winslet, Kate Beckinsale, Salma Hayek, Sophie Marceau, Hillary Duff, Kirsten Steward, Michael J Fox etc.,? Which guys wouldn’t want to possess vocals of James Blunt, Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, Akon, Klause Meine, Ozzy Ozbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Thin Lizzy, Richard Marx, Paul Gibson, Kennie Loggins, Justin Bieber, Eric Martin, Rod Steward, Bryan Adams etc., and which ladies and gals would not want to posses vocals of Sakira, Celin Dione, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce Knowles, Christina Anguilera, Rihanna, Kesha, Taylor Swift etc, etc,.
In fact, all these differences are the handiworks of genes that resides in the cells of our body. Strange though it may sound, we humans are just like a computer in one way or the other for we are programmed since birth. Just like different programming creates different softwares, those differences in the arrangement of clusters of DNA molecules on that twisted ladder(Double Helix) in the Chromosome makes us have different traits. Say, Hollywoods hottest star Tom Cruise doesn’t seem to age at all and has an “18 Till I Die” look even though he has already crossed 50 years of age. At our home front mention may also be made of Amir Khan and Anil Kapoor who looks quite young despite their advanced ages. When I was a kid, I watched Anil Kapoor’s debut film “Meri Jung”, but till now his appearance doesn’t get a bit ‘junked’. Same is the case with Bollywood actresses such as Hema Malini and Rekha. Of course, self discipline such as practicing of Yoga, Aerobics, good eating habits and preferably being vegetarian are also some factors that contribute in delaying ageing. But still, it is the genes behind many factors and some are lucky enough as they posses good and healthy genes.
Nowadays, government of many nations are collectively working on ‘Human Genome Projects’ involving huge amount of money for betterment of mankind. The scope of such projects is quite enormous which may reach a stage whereby defective genes of an organ, say kidney, heart, liver, pancreas etc can be replaced with healthy genes so that the whole organ becomes fit as a fiddle or just like a brand new one. Such projects, if result-oriented will be quite beneficial for humankind in the days to come. In this age of “cloning”, health insurance may take a different turn. A time may come where a clone of your own self will become a health insurance policy as defective organs of your own self could be replaced by a healthy organ of your own clone. In this rate of advancement in science and technology, the possibilities are endless. Well, for the time being let’s concentrate on the present and look forward to a better tomorrow.