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.” A. Most of the … Continue reading A review that inadvertently showed how memory paradigms prevented relevant research

A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

This 2019 review of epigenetic clocks by Washington cancer researchers repeatedly returned to an argument for randomness as a cause for aging and disease: “A time-dependent stochastic event process, like epigenetic drift, could lead to cancer formation through the accumulation of random epigenetic alterations that, through chance, eventually alter epigenetic driver gene expression leading to … Continue reading A strawman argument against epigenetic clocks

Emotional responses and BDNF methylation

This 2019 German human study found: “A critical role of BDNF [brain-derived neurotrophic factor] methylation in human amygdala response to negative emotional stimuli, whereby: High BDNF methylation rates were for the first time shown to be associated with a high reactivity in the amygdala; and High BDNF methylation and high amygdala reactivity were associated with … Continue reading Emotional responses and BDNF methylation

May you be the hero who solves your own problems

This 2019 Germany/US review subject was the failure of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy: “Each mental disorder raises its own host of issues. However, recent evidence across multiple meta-analyses on key mental disorders provides an overarching picture of limited benefits for both psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. Some differences for specific disorders are not strong enough to weaken the … Continue reading May you be the hero who solves your own problems

PNAS politics in the name of science

This 2019 Germany/Canada human fetal cell study was a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America direct submission: “In a human hippocampal progenitor cell line, we assessed the short- and long-term effects of GC [glucocorticoid] exposure during neurogenesis on messenger RNA expression and DNA methylation profiles. Our data suggest … Continue reading PNAS politics in the name of science

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

Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance mechanisms that lead to prostate disease

This 2019 Washington rodent study found: “Ancestral exposure to the toxicant vinclozolin induces an epigenetic transgenerational increase in susceptibility to prostate pathology in F3 [male great-grandchildren] generation rats. These results are in agreement with previous studies which found a transgenerational increase in rates of prostatic epithelial atrophy, cystic hyperplasia, and prostatitis in the transgenerational F3 … Continue reading Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance mechanisms that lead to prostate disease

A top-down view of biological goal-directed mechanisms

This 2016 US/Italy article was written from the perspective of regenerative bioengineering: “Higher levels beyond the molecular can have their own unique dynamics that offer better (e.g. more parsimonious and potent) explanatory power than models made at lower levels. Biological systems may be best amenable to models that include information structures (organ shape, size, topological … Continue reading A top-down view of biological goal-directed mechanisms

Flawed epigenetic measurements of behavioral experiences

This 2018 New York rodent study not only wasted resources but also speciously attempted to extrapolate animal study findings to humans: “While it is clear that behavioral experience modulates epigenetic profiles, it is less evident how the nature of that experience influences outcomes and whether epigenetic/genetic “biomarkers” could be extracted to classify different types of … Continue reading Flawed epigenetic measurements of behavioral experiences