Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

A pair of 2019 Virginia studies involved human mother/infant subjects: “We show that OXTRm [oxytocin receptor gene DNA methylation] in infancy and its change is predicted by maternal engagement and reflective of behavioral temperament.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795517 “Epigenetic dynamics in infancy and the impact of maternal engagement” “Infants with higher OXTRm show enhanced responses to anger and … Continue reading Using oxytocin receptor gene methylation to pursue an agenda

Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

This 2019 McGill rodent study found: “Prenatal stress exacerbates pain after injury. Analysis of mRNA expression of genes related to epigenetic regulation and stress responses in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, brain structures implicated in chronic pain, showed distinct sex and region-specific patterns of dysregulation. In general, mRNA expression was most frequently altered in the … Continue reading Prenatal stress heightened adult chronic pain

A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

This 2019 Washington State University rodent study found epigenetically inherited transgenerational effects in great-grand offspring due to their great-grandmothers’ toxicant exposures during pregnancy: “Previous studies found an increased susceptibility to obesity in F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed to the pesticide DDT, and an increase in a lean phenotype in the F3 generation rats ancestrally exposed … Continue reading A transgenerational view of the rise in obesity

Too cheap for clinical trials

Let’s compare and contrast a 2019 meta-analysis and a 2017 review of using acetyl-L-carnitine to treat diabetic neuropathy. A 2019 Brazilian meta-analysis Acetyl‐L‐carnitine for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy of four previous trials stated: “The risk of bias was high in both trials of different ALC doses and low in the other two trials. … Continue reading Too cheap for clinical trials

Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

This 2019 French/Italian rodent study used the PRS model to investigate its effects on circadian activity: “The aim of this study was to explore the influence of PRS on the circadian oscillations of gene expression in the SCN [suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus] and on circadian locomotor behavior, in a sex-dependent manner. Research on transcriptional … Continue reading Perinatal stress and sex differences in circadian activity

A drug that countered effects of a traumatizing mother

This 2019 US rodent study concerned transmitting poor maternal care to the next generation: “The quality of parental care received during development profoundly influences an individual’s phenotype, including that of maternal behavior. Infant experiences with a caregiver have lifelong behavioral consequences. Maternal behavior is a complex behavior requiring the recruitment of multiple brain regions including … Continue reading A drug that countered effects of a traumatizing mother

Transgenerational diseases caused by great-grandmother DDT exposure

This 2019 rodent study from the labs of Dr. Michael Skinner at Washington State University found: “The exposure of a gestating female during fetal gonadal sex determination to DDT can promote the epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of obesity and disease. Transgenerational pathologies (F3 generation) of late puberty, obesity, testis, prostate, and multiple disease were observed in … Continue reading Transgenerational diseases caused by great-grandmother DDT exposure

The transgenerational impact of Roundup exposure

This 2019 Washington rodent study from Dr. Michael Skinner’s lab found adverse effects in the grand-offspring and great-grand-offspring following their ancestor’s exposure during pregnancy to the world’s most commonly used herbicide: “Using a transient exposure of gestating F0 generation female rats found negligible impacts of glyphosate on the directly exposed F0 generation, or F1 generation … Continue reading The transgenerational impact of Roundup exposure

Our brains are shaped by our early environments

This 2019 McGill paper reviewed human and animal studies on brain-shaping influences from the fetal period through childhood: “In neonates, regions of the methylome that are highly variable across individuals are explained by the genotype alone in 25 percent of cases. The best explanation for 75 percent of variably methylated regions is the interaction of … Continue reading Our brains are shaped by our early environments

Reductionism vs. reductionism

This 2004 essay by an evolutionary biologist reviewed his field’s direction in the current century: “Science is impelled by two main factors, technological advance and a guiding vision (overview). A properly balanced relationship between the two is key to the successful development of a science. Without the proper technological advances the road ahead is blocked. … Continue reading Reductionism vs. reductionism