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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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I caught part of an episode last night on Epigenomes on PBS. Fascinating what they think they will be able to do, but also fascinating was a chart they put up. They had plotted life length versus feast/famine. I have no idea what process they used to do this, and they never focussed well on the axis. The Y-Axis range was from 0.5 to 2.0. It basically showed that grandchildren of women who went through famine had shorter lives and grandchildren of men who went through famine had longer years and vice versa.

0.5 to 2.0 rings a friendly bell in my head. That's the range of RR through which I don't worry about the correlation.

10 minutes later they used this apparent epidemiology to invoke a nasty idea. Anything you do before you bear children causes problems to your grandchildren. So don't smoke, don't drink, don't expose yourself to pesticides, don't do anything that might cause the epigenome to be changed.

Can you see it now? "We have to ban X completely to protect our children two generations from now." It won't matter what the effect is, all they have to do is evoke the emotion of protecting the future.

On a happy note thought, the research indicates that we may be able to turn off and on all kinds of good and bad things.

I am having a vision. Someone is gonna inject a politician with a dose of stolen epigenome counter medicine and expect it to give the guy cancer and cause him to die.