Immune memory vs. immune adaptation

This 2019 Dutch/German/Romanian perspective aimed for a better understanding of immune systems: “Based on molecular, immunological, and evolutionary arguments, we propose that innate immune memory is a primitive form of immune memory present in all living organisms, while adaptive immune memory is an advanced form of immune memory representing an evolutionary innovation in vertebrates. Innate … Continue reading Immune memory vs. immune adaptation

Adaptations to stress encourage mutations in a DNA area that causes diseases

This 2015 Baylor human cell study subject was the underlying mechanisms of cellular responses to environmental stressors of cold, heat, hypoxia, and oxidation: “Because trinucleotide repeats are overrepresented in gene-regulatory proteins, stress-induced trinucleotide repeat mutagenesis may provide a path for the environment to subtly alter gene regulatory networks—with attendant changes in cell behavior—during development, disease, and evolution.” … Continue reading Adaptations to stress encourage mutations in a DNA area that causes diseases

Do delusions have therapeutic value?

This 2019 UK review discussed delusions, aka false beliefs about reality: “Delusions are characterized by their behavioral manifestations and defined as irrational beliefs that compromise good functioning. In this overview paper, we ask whether delusions can be adaptive notwithstanding their negative features. We consider different types of delusions and different ways in which they can … Continue reading Do delusions have therapeutic value?

Statistical inferences vs. biological realities

A 2019 UCLA study introduced a derivative of the epigenetic clock named GrimAge: “DNAm GrimAge, a linear combination of chronological age, sex, and DNAm-based surrogate biomarkers for seven plasma proteins and smoking pack-years, outperforms all other DNAm-based biomarkers, on a variety of health-related metrics. An age-adjusted version of DNAm GrimAge, which can be regarded as … Continue reading Statistical inferences vs. biological realities

Epigenetic causes of sexual orientation and handedness?

This 2018 Austrian human study subject was various associations of prenatal testosterone levels to fetal development: “The available evidence suggests, albeit not conclusively, that prenatal testosterone levels may be one cause for the association of sexual orientation with handedness. Associations among women were consistent with predictions of the Geschwind–Galaburda theory (GGT), whereas those among men … Continue reading Epigenetic causes of sexual orientation and handedness?

A top-down view of biological goal-directed mechanisms

This 2016 US/Italy article was written from the perspective of regenerative bioengineering: “Higher levels beyond the molecular can have their own unique dynamics that offer better (e.g. more parsimonious and potent) explanatory power than models made at lower levels. Biological systems may be best amenable to models that include information structures (organ shape, size, topological … Continue reading A top-down view of biological goal-directed mechanisms

The imperative of human transgenerational studies

The coauthor of: A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance; and A review of epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of reproductive disease pointed out the opportunity for the researchers of A seasonal epigenetic effect of conception on BMI to have their work make a difference in their field: “The ability of environmental epigenetics to promote an adaptive … Continue reading The imperative of human transgenerational studies

Hijacking the epigenetic clock paradigm

This 2018 German human study’s last sentence was: “Additionally we found an association between DNAm [DNA methylation] age acceleration and rLTL [relative leukocyte telomere length], suggesting that this epigenetic clock, at least partially and possibly better than other epigenetic clocks, reflects biological age.” Statements in the study that contradicted, qualified, and limited the concluding sentence … Continue reading Hijacking the epigenetic clock paradigm

A dietary supplement that trains the innate immune system

This 2018 Netherlands review topic was the long-term epigenetic programming of the innate immune system: “Immunological memory has been classically described for the adaptive immune system, in which naive B and T lymphocytes develop antigen-specific, long-lasting memory cells after encountering a new antigen. Immunological memory is not an exclusive trait of lymphocytes. The function of … Continue reading A dietary supplement that trains the innate immune system

A seasonal epigenetic effect of conception on BMI

This 2018 Swiss human/rodent study found: “The presence of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the season of conception are linked to BMI in humans. In mice, we demonstrate that cold exposure (CE) of males, but not females, before mating results in improved systemic metabolism and protection from diet-induced obesity of the male offspring. Adipose tissue … Continue reading A seasonal epigenetic effect of conception on BMI