Epigenetic effects of microRNA on fetal heart development

This 2017 Australian review’s subject was epigenetic impacts involving microRNA in adverse intrauterine environments, and how these affected fetal heart tissue development: “We describe how an adverse intrauterine environment can influence the expression of miRNAs (a sub-set of non-coding RNAs) and how these changes may impact heart development. Potential consequences of altered miRNA expression in … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of microRNA on fetal heart development

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

Transgenerational epigenetic programming with stress and microRNA

This 2015 Pennsylvania rodent study found: “Sperm miRs [microRNAs, a small non-coding RNA that has a role in gene expression] function to reduce maternal mRNA [messenger RNA, a large RNA that carries codes for protein production] stores in early zygotes, ultimately reprogramming gene expression in the offspring hypothalamus and recapitulating the offspring stress dysregulation phenotype.” … Continue reading Transgenerational epigenetic programming with stress and microRNA

Transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy

This 2018 Belgian review subject was in part the transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy. The subject was tailored for the journal in which it appeared, Atherosclerosis, so other transgenerationally inherited epigenetic effects weren’t reviewed: “The transgenerational impact of these alterations in methylation patterns are only shown in animal studies with HFD [high-fat … Continue reading Transgenerational epigenetic effects of maternal obesity during pregnancy

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

Resiliency in stress responses

This 2018 US Veterans Administration review subject was resiliency and stress responses: “Neurobiological and behavioral responses to stress are highly variable. Exposure to a similar stressor can lead to heterogeneous outcomes — manifesting psychopathology in one individual, but having minimal effect, or even enhancing resilience, in another. We highlight aspects of stress response modulation related … Continue reading Resiliency in stress responses

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

The purpose of epigenetic mechanisms

The concluding remarks of this 2018 Chinese review were: “Using heterochromatin as a model, we have reviewed here the mechanisms behind the establishment and maintenance of silent chromatin domains. We conclude that almost every component of the chromatin environment, including DNA elements, RNAs, histones and other chromatin proteins, plays a role in the process of … Continue reading The purpose of epigenetic mechanisms

How well do single-mother rodent studies inform us about human fathers?

Two items before getting to the review: 94% of rodent genera are naturally uniparental; The Rattus and Mus genera used in almost all rodent research aren’t part of the 6% in which fathers also provide offspring care. This 2018 Australian review subject was paternal intergenerational and transgenerational transmission of biological and behavioral phenotypes per this … Continue reading How well do single-mother rodent studies inform us about human fathers?