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:3/30/2017)... -- On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host the world,s ... at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, Washington ... health and wellness apps that provide a unique, personalized ... is the first hackathon for personal genomics and the ... the genomics, tech and health industries are sending teams ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... CHICAGO , March 29, 2017  higi, the ... ecosystem in North America , today ... Partners and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment ... extensive set of tools to transform population health activities ... and lifestyle data. higi collects and secures ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of ... award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Pittcon Program Committee is pleased to ... who have made outstanding contributions to analytical chemistry and applied spectroscopy. Each award ... conference and exposition for laboratory science, which will be held February 26-March 1, ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which ... video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... On Tuesday, October 24th, ABC² ... the first-ever adaptive clinical trial for glioblastoma (GBM). The featured speaker will be ... and open to the public, but registration is required. , WHAT: ABC² ...
Breaking Biology Technology: