Navigation Links
Nurture over nature
Date:4/22/2008

Score one for the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate, as North Carolina State University geneticists have shown that environmental factors such as lifestyle and geography play a large role in whether certain genes are turned on or off.

By studying gene expression of white blood cells in 46 Moroccan Amazighs, or Berbers including desert nomads, mountain agrarians and coastal urban dwellers the NC State researchers and collaborators in Morocco and the United States showed that up to one-third of genes are differentially expressed due to where and how the Moroccan Amazighs live.

The research is published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

The NC State researchers, Youssef Idaghdour, an NC State graduate student in genetics and a Fulbright scholar, and Dr. Greg Gibson, formerly William Neal Reynolds Professor of Genetics at NC State and currently a faculty member at the University of Queensland in Australia, set out to study the impact of the transition from traditional to urbanized lifestyles on the human immune system. They used the latest tools for characterizing the sequence and expression of all 23,000 human genes to compare the three Moroccan Amazigh groups. These groups were chosen because they have a similar genetic makeup but lead distinct ways of life and occupy different geographic domains. Thus, differences in gene expression profiles between the three groups would likely be due to environmental and not genetic factors.

The team uncovered specific genes and pathways that are affected by lifestyle and geography. For example, they found respiratory genes were upregulated, or turned on, more frequently in the urban population than in the nomadic or agrarian populations.

This makes sense, Idaghdour says, as urban dwellers deal with greater amounts of pollution in the city and encounter more difficulties with diseases like asthma and bronchitis. So it stands to reason that certain respiratory genes in city dwellers go into overdrive while staying quiet in rural and nomadic populations, he adds.

The NC State researchers also examined every gene in each of the three populations and found very few genetic differences, positing that these limited differences were unlikely to explain the large gene expression differences.

Although Idaghdour initially hypothesized that environmental factors would play a role in gene expression, he didn't expect such large differences. About 30 percent of genes were differentially expressed between urban dwellers and mountain agrarians.

"The most important implication of this study is that people with the same genetic makeup can be in different environments and have different expression profiles," Idaghdour says. "The same gene can be expressed in the city but not in a rural place because of the environment. So you must look at the environment when studying associations between genes and disease."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mick Kulikowski
mick_kulikowski@ncsu.edu
919-515-3470
North Carolina State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Genes and environment grant funds close look at nature-nurture overlap in common diseases
2. AMNH scientists grace Science & Nature covers
3. Pediatricians alerted to the developmental nature of underage drinking in special journal supplement
4. 2008 Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award presented
5. K-State contributions to red flour beetle genome sequencing featured in March 27 issue of Nature
6. Genes selective signature aids detection of natural selection in microbial evolution
7. In nature -- and maybe the corner office -- scientists find that generalists can thrive
8. Iridescence workshop promotes natures nanotechnology
9. Entrust Digital Signatures Help Secure More Than 18 Million U.S. ePassports
10. Scientists enhance Mother Natures carbon handling mechanism
11. Frog study takes leaf out of natures book
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/14/2017)... IBM ) is introducing several innovative partner startups at ... between startups and global businesses, taking place in ... startups will showcase the solutions they have built with IBM ... France is one of the most ... increase in the number of startups created between 2012 and ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... -- According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM ... and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global ... grow from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 ... overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of ... performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia Inc ... hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” with ... adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an increase ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Disappearing forests and increased emissions are ... 5.5 million people each year. Especially those living in larger cities are affected by ... in one of the most pollution-affected countries globally - decided to take action. , ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team ... its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of ... the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: