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:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Perimeter Surveillance & ... Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other Service  ... offers comprehensive analysis of the global Border ... generate revenues of $17.98 billion in 2016. ... a leader in software and hardware technologies for advanced ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical imaging industry.  As such, ... to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160524/371420 ... ... ... With ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... , May 16, 2016   EyeLock LLC ... today announced the opening of an IoT Center of ... strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris biometric ... unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched biometric ... one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation ... increasingly precise treatments and faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class ... across 15 countries. Read More About the Class of ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in ... patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection ... for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, ... Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 ... presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. and StemoniX ... produce up to one billion human induced pluripotent ... week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable researchers ... spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. This ... manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC for ...
Breaking Biology Technology: