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

DNA methylation and childhood adversity

This 2017 Georgia human review covered: “Recent studies, primarily focused on the findings from human studies, to indicate the role of DNA methylation in the associations between childhood adversity and cardiometabolic disease in adulthood. In particular, we focused on DNA methylation modifications in genes regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the immune system.” Recommendations … Continue reading DNA methylation and childhood adversity

Epigenetics research and evolution

This 2017 UK essay was a longish review of how epigenetics and other research has informed evolutionary theory: “There are several processes by which directed evolutionary change occurs—targeted mutation, gene transposition, epigenetics, cultural change, niche construction and adaptation. Evolution is an ongoing set of iterative interactions between organisms and the environment..Directionality is introduced by the … Continue reading Epigenetics research and evolution

The pain societies instill into children

The human subjects of this 2017 Swiss study had previously been intentionally traumatized by Swiss society: “Swiss former indentured child laborers (Verdingkinder) were removed as children from their families by the authorities due to different reasons (poverty, being born out of wedlock) and were placed to live and work on farms. This was a practice … Continue reading The pain societies instill into children

Genetic imprinting, sleep, and parent-offspring conflict

This 2016 Italian review subject was the interplay of genetic imprinting and sleep regulation: “Sleep results from the synergism between at least two major processes: a homeostatic regulatory mechanism that depends on the accumulation of the sleep drive during wakefulness, and a circadian self-sustained mechanism that sets the time for sleeping and waking throughout the … Continue reading Genetic imprinting, sleep, and parent-offspring conflict

Lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects

This 2016 Finnish review’s subject was the epigenetic effects of hypoxia: “Ever since the Cambrian period, oxygen availability has been in the center of energy metabolism. Hypoxia stabilizes the expression of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1α (HIF-1α), which controls the expression of hundreds of survival genes related to enhanced energy metabolism and autophagy. There are several other … Continue reading Lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects

Using salivary microRNA to diagnose autism

This 2016 New York human study found: “Measurement of salivary miRNA in this pilot study of subjects with mild ASD [autism spectrum disorder] demonstrated differential expression of 14 miRNAs that are: expressed in the developing brain, impact mRNAs related to brain development, and correlate with neurodevelopmental measures of adaptive behavior.” Some problems with current diagnostic … Continue reading Using salivary microRNA to diagnose autism

Contending with epigenetic consequences of violence to women

This 2016 UK review subject was the interplay of genomic imprinting and intergenerational epigenetic information transfer: “A range of evolutionary adaptations associated with placentation transfers disproportionate control of this process to the matriline, a period unique in mammalian development in that there are three matrilineal genomes interacting in the same organism at the same time … Continue reading Contending with epigenetic consequences of violence to women

A one-sided review of stress

The subject of this 2016 Italian/New York review was the stress response: “The stress response, involving the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis and the consequent release of corticosteroid hormones, is indeed aimed at promoting metabolic, functional, and behavioral adaptations. However, behavioral stress is also associated with fast and long-lasting neurochemical, structural, and behavioral changes, leading … Continue reading A one-sided review of stress

The mystery of humans’ evolved capability for adults to grow new brain cells

This 2016 German review discussed the evolution of human adult neurogenesis: “Mammalian adult hippocampal neurogenesis is a trait shaped by evolutionary forces that have contributed to the advantages in natural selection that are associated with the mammalian dentate gyrus. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mammals originates from an ectopic precursor cell population that resides in a … Continue reading The mystery of humans’ evolved capability for adults to grow new brain cells