Inevitable individual differences

This 2021 review subject was individual differences: “We will focus on recent findings that try to shed light on the emergence of individuality, with a particular interest in Drosophila melanogaster. (A) Cumulative and relative contribution of different sources of interindividual variability from early development stages to adult life experience. Individuality emerges from the combination of … Continue reading Inevitable individual differences

The primary causes of individual differences in DNA methylation are environmental factors

This 2015 Canadian human study by McGill researchers found: “Differential methylation is primarily non-genetic in origin, with non-shared environment accounting for most of the variance. These non-genetic effects are mainly tissue-specific. The full scope of environmental variation remains underappreciated.” The researchers developed their findings using adipose and blood samples from monozygotic and dizygotic twins in … Continue reading The primary causes of individual differences in DNA methylation are environmental factors

If research treats “Preexisting individual differences” as a black box, how can it find causes for stress and depression?

This 2014 research studied both humans and rodents to provide further evidence on the physiology of defeat. The researchers demonstrated that with mice: “Bone marrow transplants of stem cells that produce leucocytes lacking IL-6 (the cytokine interleukin 6) or when injected with antibodies that block IL-6 prior to stress exposure, the development of social avoidance … Continue reading If research treats “Preexisting individual differences” as a black box, how can it find causes for stress and depression?

Epigenetic clocks vs. individual choices

This 2021 human twin study used four epigenetic clocks: “We examined the mediating role of lifestyle factors on the association between sex and biological aging in younger and older adults. The Finnish Twin Cohort (FTC) includes three large cohort studies: The older FTC includes twins born before 1958; Finntwin16 includes twins born in 1975-1979; and … Continue reading Epigenetic clocks vs. individual choices

Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

I’m curating this 2018 UC Berkeley/Drexel/Netherlands analysis of human studies via its press coverage. The authors: “Collaborated to analyze data on hundreds of adults – some mentally or physically sound, others suffering from various conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Participants had completed surveys about their mental health and had their heart … Continue reading Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

Do our unique visual perceptions arise from brain structural differences?

This 2014 UK/German human study involved fMRI scans of the subjects inferior temporal cortex while viewing images: “Brain representational idiosyncrasies accessible to fMRI are expressed in an individual’s perceptual judgments. We found evidence for an individually unique representation predictive of perceptual idiosyncrasies in hIT [human inferior temporal cortex] (but not in early visual areas) and … Continue reading Do our unique visual perceptions arise from brain structural differences?

The goddess of rainbows

Two 2022 papers, starting with a review of irisin: “This article is an overview of irisin generation, secretion, and tissue distribution. Its targeting of tissues or organs for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is systematically summarized, with discussion of underlying molecular mechanisms. Irisin is an exercise-induced myokine expressed as a bioactive peptide in multiple … Continue reading The goddess of rainbows

Eat oat avenanthramides for your gut microbiota

This 2021 paper covered a 2016 human clinical trial, and several in vitro and rodent follow-up studies: “Oat has been widely accepted as a key food for human health. It is becoming increasingly evident that individual differences in metabolism determine how different individuals benefit from diet. Both host genetics and gut microbiota play important roles … Continue reading Eat oat avenanthramides for your gut microbiota

Changing your immune system / gut microbiota interactions with diet

This 2021 human clinical trial investigated associations between gut microbiota and host adaptive immune system components: “Diet modulates gut microbiome, and gut microbes impact the immune system. We used two gut microbiota-targeted dietary interventions – plant-based fiber or fermented foods – to determine how each influences microbiome and immune system in healthy adults. Using a … Continue reading Changing your immune system / gut microbiota interactions with diet

PTSD susceptibility?

This 2021 rodent study investigated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) susceptibility: “PTSD is an incapacitating trauma-related disorder, with no reliable therapy. We show distinct DNA methylation profiles of PTSD susceptibility in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Data analysis revealed overall hypomethylation of different genomic CpG sites in susceptible animals. Is it possible to treat PTSD by targeting … Continue reading PTSD susceptibility?

Dietary fibers and the aged microbiome

This 2021 rodent study investigated effects of four different types of dietary fiber on two different types of aged human microbiota: “Individual differences in gut microbiota may influence host metabolic responses to dietary fiber in humans. Dietary fibers are edible carbohydrates resistant to host digestive enzymes, and not broken down or absorbed in the small … Continue reading Dietary fibers and the aged microbiome

Eat broccoli sprouts daily, and manage weight

This 2018 human study found: “The objective of this study was to determine whether daily broccoli consumption alters absorption and metabolism of isothiocyanates derived from broccoli glucosinolates. We conducted a randomised cross-over human study (n = 18) balanced for BMI and glutathione S-transferase ╬╝ 1 (GSTM1) genotype in which subjects consumed a control diet with … Continue reading Eat broccoli sprouts daily, and manage weight

Part 2 of Switch on your Nrf2 signaling pathway

To follow up topics of Part 1‘s interview: 1. “We each have a unique microbial signature in the gut. Metabolites that you produce might not be the same ones that I produce. This makes clinical studies very difficult because you don’t have a level playing field.” This description of inter-individual variability could inform researchers’ investigations … Continue reading Part 2 of Switch on your Nrf2 signaling pathway

Does sulforaphane reach the colon?

This 2020 study subject was antimicrobial activity of sulforaphane: “This study explored the role that digestion and cooking practices play in bioactivity and bioavailability, especially the rarely considered dose delivered to the colon. A broccoli powder soup was prepared which contained 26.5 ┬Ámol of sulforaphane per 200 ml portion. Addition of 2% mustard seed powder … Continue reading Does sulforaphane reach the colon?