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Psychol Rev. 1998 Oct;105(4):792-802.

Normally occurring environmental and behavioral influences on gene activity: from central dogma to probabilistic epigenesis.

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Center for Developmental Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


The central dogma of molecular biology holds that "information" flows from the genes to the structure of the proteins that the genes bring about through the formula DNA-->RNA-->Protein. In this view, a set of master genes activates the DNA necessary to produce the appropriate proteins that the organism needs during development. In contrast to this view, probabilistic epigenesis holds that necessarily there are signals from the internal and external environment that activate DNA to produce the appropriate proteins. To support this view, a substantial body of evidence is reviewed showing that external environmental influences on gene activation are normally occurring events in a large variety of organisms, including humans. This demonstrates how genes and environments work together to produce functional organisms, thus extending the author's model of probabilistic epigenesis.

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