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 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

Prenatal stress produces offspring who as adults have cognitive, emotional, and memory deficiencies

This 2018 French/Italian/Swiss rodent study used the prenatally restraint stressed (PRS) model to create problems that could be resolved by various chemicals: “S 47445 is a positive modulator of glutamate AMPA-type receptors, possessing neurotrophic and enhancing synaptic plasticity effects as well as pro-cognitive and anti-stress properties. Most of studies examining the antidepressant effects of new … Continue reading Prenatal stress produces offspring who as adults have cognitive, emotional, and memory deficiencies

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?

Maternal obesity causes fetal liver damage

This 2018 US baboon study was on fetal effects from maternal obesity before and during pregnancy: “Approximately 64% of women of childbearing age in the USA [are] overweight or obese..The baboon is a well-characterized animal model sharing many physiological, metabolic, and genetic characteristics with humans allowing direct translation of findings to human pregnancy. Our study … Continue reading Maternal obesity causes fetal liver damage

A study of gene-environment interactions

This 2018 Hungary/UK study used Bayesian analysis to better understand gene-environment interactions that produce depression: “Most genetic studies do not consider the effect of stressors which may be one reason for the lack of replicable results in candidate gene studies, GWAS [genome-wide association studies] and between human studies and animal models..Animal models of depression usually … Continue reading A study of gene-environment interactions

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?

The influence of donor age on induced pluripotent stem cell functionality

This 2018 German review subject was the influence of donor age on induced pluripotent stem cell functionality: “Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) avoid many of the restrictions that hamper the application of human embryonic stem cells..Also, the donor’s clinical phenotype is often known when working with iPSCs. Typical signs of cellular ageing are reverted in … Continue reading The influence of donor age on induced pluripotent stem cell functionality

Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

This 2018 Canadian paper reviewed evidence for potential sex-specific differences in the lasting impacts of childhood trauma: “This paper will provide a contextualized summary of neuroendocrine, neuroimaging, and behavioral epigenetic studies on biological sex differences contributing to internalizing psychopathology, specifically posttraumatic stress disorder and depression, among adults with a history of childhood abuse. Given the … Continue reading Sex-specific impacts of childhood trauma

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