Going off the rails with the biomarker paradigm

This 2018 US government rodent study used extreme dosages to achieve its directed goals of demonizing nicotine and extolling the biomarker paradigm: “This study examined whether adolescent nicotine exposure alters adult hippocampus-dependent learning, involving persistent changes in hippocampal DNA methylation and if choline, a dietary methyl donor, would reverse and mitigate these alterations. Mice were … Continue reading Going off the rails with the biomarker paradigm

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

An example of researchers changing their field’s paradigms

This 2018 German review subject was retroviruses: “Initial indications that retroviruses are connected to neoplastic transformation were seen more than a century ago. 43% of the human genome is made up of such elements and 8% of the genome is comprised of retroviruses that infected human ancestors, entering cells of the germ line or proliferating … Continue reading An example of researchers changing their field’s paradigms

What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

This 2018 German human study found: “DNA methylation in a biologically relevant region of NR3C1-1F [the glucocorticoid receptor gene] moderates the specific direction of HPA-axis dysregulation (hypo- vs. hyperreactivity) in adults exposed to moderate-severe CT [childhood trauma]. In contrast, unexposed and mildly-moderately exposed individuals displayed moderately sized cortisol stress responses irrespective of NR3C1-1F DNA methylation. … Continue reading What will it take for childhood trauma research to change paradigms?

A study of perinatal malnutrition where the paradigm excluded epigenetic inheritance

This 2017 New York/Swedish rodent study subject was the epigenetic effects on the F1 children of maternal low protein diet during pregnancy and lactation: “Male, but not female, offspring of LPD [low protein diet] mothers consistently displayed anxiety- and depression-like behaviors under acute stress. Our proposed pathway connecting early malnutrition, sex-independent regulatory changes in Egr1 … Continue reading A study of perinatal malnutrition where the paradigm excluded epigenetic inheritance

How one person’s paradigms regarding stress and epigenetics impedes relevant research

This 2017 review laid out the tired, old, restrictive guidelines by which current US research on the epigenetic effects of stress is funded. The reviewer rehashed paradigms circumscribed by his authoritative position in guiding funding, and called for more government funding to support and extend his reach. The reviewer won’t change his beliefs regarding individual … Continue reading How one person’s paradigms regarding stress and epigenetics impedes relevant research

The current paradigm of child abuse limits pre-childhood causal research

As an adult, what would be your primary concern if you suspected that your early life had something to do with current problems? Would you be interested in effective treatments for causes of your symptoms? Such information wasn’t available in this 2016 Miami review of the effects of child abuse. The review laid out the … Continue reading The current paradigm of child abuse limits pre-childhood causal research

A review that inadvertently showed how memory paradigms prevented relevant research

This 2016 Swiss review of enduring memories demonstrated what happens when scientists’ reputations and paychecks interfered with them recognizing new research and evidence in their area but outside their paradigm: “A framework containing the basic assumptions, ways of thinking, and methodology that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific community.” 1. Most of the … Continue reading A review that inadvertently showed how memory paradigms prevented relevant research

How do memories transfer?

This 2018 Chinese study electronically modeled the brain’s circuits to evaluate memory transfer mechanisms: “During non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, thalamo-cortical spindles and hippocampal sharp wave-ripples have been implicated in declarative memory consolidation. Evidence suggests that long-term memory consolidation is coordinated by the generation of: Hierarchically nested hippocampal ripples (100-250 Hz), Thalamo-cortical spindles (7-15 Hz), and Cortical … Continue reading How do memories transfer?

Hidden hypotheses of epigenetic studies

This 2018 UK review discussed three pre-existing conditions of epigenetic genome-wide association studies: “Genome-wide technology has facilitated epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS), permitting ‘hypothesis-free’ examinations in relation to adversity and/or mental health problems. Results of EWAS are in fact conditional on several a priori hypotheses: EWAS coverage is sufficient for complex psychiatric problems; Peripheral tissue is … Continue reading Hidden hypotheses of epigenetic studies