top of page

Are You a Byproduct of Your Genes?

Tobacco and Genes

Most modern medical research assumes that inherited genetic predispositions underlie the current epidemics of (non-infectious) diseases and disorders. A partial list includes type II diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autism, various mental illnesses, myopia, and stroke.

This research was originally funded by the tobacco industry’s need to deflect blame that smoking caused lung cancer. Rather, that people got lung cancer from a genetic tendency for cancer rather than smoking. This has become the dominant rational for most mainstream genetic research today.

But what if the premise was flawed?

Researching Research

Research that attempts to justify genetic predispositions for diseases is known as “twin” studies. With this type of research, identical twins are used to determine genetic expression because they have the same genetic code. The rational is that if two people with the same genetic makeup, who are raised in the same environment, will have the same predispositions to genetic-based diseases.

But what if that methodology is flawed and vastly overestimates the genetic contributions to diseases?

What would that mean to health care today?

Are You a Byproduct of Your Genes?

Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson are the principle authors of “The Great DNA Data Deficit: Are Genes for Disease a Mirage?” published in Independent Science Ne