The role of recall neurons in traumatic memories

This 2018 Swiss rodent study found: “Our data show that: A subset of memory recall–induced neurons in the DG [dentate gyrus] becomes reactivated after memory attenuation, The degree of fear reduction positively correlates with this reactivation, and The continued activity of memory recall–induced neurons is critical for remote fear memory attenuation. Although other brain areas … Continue reading The role of recall neurons in traumatic memories

Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

This 2017 UC Irvine human review subject provided details of how fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal components and systems develop, and how they are epigenetically changed by the mother’s environment: “The developmental origins of disease or fetal programming model predicts that intrauterine exposures have life-long consequences for physical and psychological health. Prenatal programming of the fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) … Continue reading Prenatal programming of human HPA axis development

Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

This 2018 UC San Diego review subject was the interplay between breast cancer treatments and their effects on aging: “Although current breast cancer treatments are largely successful in producing cancer remission and extending lifespan, there is concern that these treatments may have long lasting detrimental effects on cancer survivors, in part, through their impact on … Continue reading Epigenetic effects of breast cancer treatments

Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

I’m curating this 2018 UC Berkeley/Drexel/Netherlands analysis of human studies via its press coverage. The authors: “Collaborated to analyze data on hundreds of adults – some mentally or physically sound, others suffering from various conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Participants had completed surveys about their mental health and had their heart … Continue reading Group statistics don’t necessarily describe an individual

A seasonal epigenetic effect of conception on BMI

This 2018 Swiss human/rodent study found: “The presence of brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the season of conception are linked to BMI in humans. In mice, we demonstrate that cold exposure (CE) of males, but not females, before mating results in improved systemic metabolism and protection from diet-induced obesity of the male offspring. Adipose tissue … Continue reading A seasonal epigenetic effect of conception on BMI

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

Ideaesthesia!

This 2018 UK review subject was colored-hearing experiences from music: “Music-colour synaesthesia has a broad scope encompassing not only tone-colour synaesthesia elicited on hearing individual tones, but a complex and idiosyncratic mixture of phenomenological experiences often mediated by timbre, tempo, emotion and differing musical style. The possession of synaesthesia or absolute pitch was shown to … Continue reading Ideaesthesia!

Immune memory in the brain

This 2018 German rodent study was a proof-of-principle for immune epigenetic memory in the brain: “Innate immune memory is a vital mechanism of myeloid [bone marrow] cell plasticity that occurs in response to environmental stimuli and alters subsequent immune responses. Two types of immunological imprinting can be distinguished – training and tolerance. These are epigenetically … Continue reading Immune memory in the brain

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

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