LETTER- Smart living matters too

Ronald Bailey's June 25 essay, "Big risk: You can't handle the truth?" raises some interesting questions. However, we must look at the effect of genes with other factors, and not believe all the hype regarding the predominance of genes.

Even if the results of genetic tests are accurate, as suggested in the article, having a specific gene for a disease or condition probably has less to do with whether one will acquire these than the effects of environmental conditions.

The nature- nurture controversy has now tilted in favor of heredity. But if we take a closer look we find that more interaction exists in reality. Cell biologist Bruce Lipton states in his enlightening book, The Biology of Belief,  that "the control of our lives is not in the genetic roll of the dice at conception, but in our own hands" and "we are the drivers of our own biology."

Joseph Le Doux, eminent neuroscientist and author of Synaptic Self, explains that genes account  for "at most 50 percent of a given trait, and in many instances far less," and "gene expression is an epigenetic phenomenon– it involves the interaction of the gene with  environmental factors."

Therefore, we may want to know what is in our genetic code, but also understand that we possess the ability to change this for better or worse.

J.C. Rotunda