When I read this, I nearly choked, and probably you will as well. It was shared by Mr. W.B. a regular reader here and one of my personal friends, and it's a harbringer I think of things to come:
The essence of the new "discovery" occurs in the opening paragraphs and the closing paragraph:
"'For each decrease of one year in parental home ownership, the participants' odds of developing a cold increased by approximately 9 percent.'
"That's not a metaphorical statement. Growing up poor leaves a permanent mark on our permanent genetic code, according to new research.
Socioeconomic status during childhood correlates with shorter sections of DNA, known as telomeres, later in life, explains a study published in the November issue of the journalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity. Telomeres are the caps to a strand of DNA and, like a case covering an external hard drive, they protect the internal data from corrosion. Without getting too deep into the science, the length of the telomere is a rough indicator of the age and health of a human cell. Every time a cell splits into two, the telomere is slightly shortened. So DNA degrades as it divides. It's a component of human aging. It's also the reason why cloned animals like Dolly the sheep don't live as long as the originals—you make a baby animal with old DNA, and it ages faster.
"More broadly, the telomere "is a marker of the functionality of certain immune cells," lead researcher Sheldon Cohen says. "The shorter these telomeres, the less functional these immune cells are. " And somehow poverty is inscribing itself on the code of mankind."(emphasis in the original)
And then at the end:
"There are many ways poverty could affect the human body—limited access to health care, a more stressful home environment, a more violent neighborhood, and poorer nutrition can all lead to poor health outcomes. 'Whatever it is,' Cohen says of the exact mechanism, 'it is having a big effect and it is having a broad effect on the biological system.' And improving someone's placement on the socioeconomic ladder would not reverse the changes children low on the rungs experienced while growing up. The effects held no matter how well-off people became in adulthood."(Emphasis added)
Now, if you're like me, these types of "studies" indicate more about the cosmological/philsophical assumptions and prejudices of modern scientism than they do about science itself. Indeed, one is reminded of the observation of German mathematician and physicist Alexander Unzicker, who has so many basic philosophical problems with the current "Standard Model" of quantum mechanics and particle physics: modern "discoveries" have more the quality of "declarations of the existence" of such and such a thing, derived by "peer review" and "committee decisions" than they have of real discovery. (Indeed, Unzicker's criticism of the recent award of the Nobel to Peter Higgs for the "discovery" of the Higgs boson by CERN's Large Hadron Collider is devastating).
So what's going on here? Well, one "high octane speculation" and implication that might be lurking in the wings, ready to serve the needs of oligarchs and corrupt politicians, is that the whole notion upon which the modern secular state has been constructed, namely, the equality of individual human beings as derived from their Creator (howsoever one defines that term), could be viewed as an "unscientific" ordering of society by a simpler less sophisticated bygone age, and that constitutions and legal traditions might have to be "updated" to reflect the new "scientific consensus".
Or, since "poverty is hardwired" by some sort of mechanism into one's DNA by dint of some interaction between it and the socio-economic environment of one's childhood - and please note that this implies that DNA is not the sole determinant then, but part of a complex of open systems and possibly of feedback loops between systems - it might come as good news to socialists and progressives; all one has to do to change the DNA signature of poverty - whatever that might be - by changing the initial economic circumstances. Again, all in the name of a "scientific ordering" of society. The bad news? Well, it was tried in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, and didn't work too well. It's being tried now in the West and shows no signs of working any better.
But, equally, it might gladden "capitalists" for the clear implication of Cohen's study is that one's DNA is somehow hardwired by whether or not one grows up in private property circumstances.
And all of this, as Mr. W.B. put it to me when he sent the article, is serving up a made-to-order set of "declarations" for eugenicism. Indeed, had the article not been composed in 2013, one would almost swear it might have been written by a Rockefailure foundation grant in some trendy oligarchical journal in 1935.
See you on the flip side.