User Profile

Septian Kapitra

Bio Statement And we tend to forget that as we partition our lives and partition our knowledge into little dysfunctional segments. And for me this experience, this journey, looking at plants and genes and evolution, has made me think in much richer, more integrated ways. So let me go ahead and get started.

OK, so I'm going to concentrate on phytochemicals. And these are just chemicals in the plant. Plants are incredibly sophisticated. I have such respect for plants. Because we imagine we are the lords of the universe, kind of thing. But really in terms of chemical evolution,

plants are so much more sophisticated and they have had more time to evolve a wide range of defenses, compounds that attract us to them, compounds that repel us. They're really running the show. But we like to think that we are. So I had been working on this book called How Plants Domesticated People.

And I still haven't managed to get it finished, but it's something that I'm working on because every day, I'm learning more about this complexity of human plant relationships. And I hope to share a little bit of that with you.

Now these are some of the phytochemicals or the chemical compounds naturally found in plants that we eat every day. And what we've discovered over the last 20 years has been that it matters what you eat. And your exposure has an impact on your biology and your behavior in unanticipated ways.

We didn't have to wait for the Twinkie defense, for those of you who remember the Twinkie defense out in San Francisco, as an excuse for murder, [LAUGHS] to realize that what we eat does influence, if not our genes directly, then the epigenome,