A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse

The principal way science advances is through the principle Einstein expressed as: “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Members of the scientific community and of the public should be satisfied that the scientific process is working well when hypotheses are discarded due to nonconfirming evidence. … Continue reading A disturbance in the paradigm of child abuse

The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

This 2018 Loma Linda review subject was gestational hypoxia: “Of all the stresses to which the fetus and newborn infant are subjected, perhaps the most important and clinically relevant is that of hypoxia. This review explores the impact of gestational hypoxia on maternal health and fetal development, and epigenetic mechanisms of developmental plasticity with emphasis … Continue reading The lack of oxygen’s epigenetic effects on a fetus

in utero prevention of breast cancer by a broccoli sprouts diet

This 2018 Alabama rodent study investigated the epigenetic effects on developing breast cancer of timing a sulforaphane-based broccoli sprouts diet. Timing of the diet was as follows: Conception through weaning (postnatal day 28), named the Prenatal/maternal BSp (broccoli sprouts) treatment (what the mothers ate starting when they were adults at 12 weeks until their pups … Continue reading in utero prevention of breast cancer by a broccoli sprouts diet

A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

This 2018 Washington rodent study subject was transgenerational epigenetic inheritance caused by a fungicide that’s been phased out or banned for over a decade: “This study was designed to help understand how three different epigenetic processes in sperm are correlated with vinclozolin-induced epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of disease. Most DMRs [differential DNA-methylated regions] identified in this … Continue reading A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance

Immune memory in the brain

This 2018 German rodent study was a proof-of-principle for immune epigenetic memory in the brain: “Innate immune memory is a vital mechanism of myeloid [bone marrow] cell plasticity that occurs in response to environmental stimuli and alters subsequent immune responses. Two types of immunological imprinting can be distinguished – training and tolerance. These are epigenetically … Continue reading Immune memory in the brain

Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?

This US 2018 review lead author was a gynecologic oncologist in private practice: “Sexual orientation is biologically conferred in the first trimester of pregnancy. Gender identity is biologically conferred during the middle trimester of pregnancy. Since the genitals differentiate in the first trimester, and the brain becomes imprinted in the latter half of gestation, it … Continue reading Are there epigenetic causes for sexual orientation and gender identity?

The Not-Invented-Here syndrome

I have high expectations of natural science researchers. I assume that their studies will improve over time, and develop methods and experiments that produce reliable evidence to inform us of human conditions. My confidence is often unrealistic. Scientists are people, after all, and have the same foibles as the rest of us. I anticipate that … Continue reading The Not-Invented-Here syndrome

Little evidence for mitochondrial DNA methylation

This 2018 Japanese rodent study used three different techniques to detect mitochondrial DNA methylation: “Whilst 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is a major epigenetic mark in the nuclear DNA in mammals, whether or not mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) receives 5mC modification remains controversial. We used bisulfite sequencing, McrBC digestion analyses and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, which are distinctly differing … Continue reading Little evidence for mitochondrial DNA methylation

The epigenetic clock theory of aging

My 400th blog post curates a 2018 US/UK paper by two of the coauthors of Using an epigenetic clock to distinguish cellular aging from senescence. The authors reviewed the current state of epigenetic clock research, and proposed a new theory of aging: “The proposed epigenetic clock theory of ageing views biological ageing as an unintended … Continue reading The epigenetic clock theory of aging

The role of DNMT3a in fear memories

This 2018 Chinese rodent study found: “Elevated Dnmt3a [a DNA methyltransferase] level in the dorsal dentate gyrus (dDG) of hippocampus was associated with the absence of fear renewal in an altered context after extinction training. Overexpression and knockdown of Dnmt3a in the dDG regulated the occurrence of fear renewal in a bi-directional manner. We found … Continue reading The role of DNMT3a in fear memories