Navigation Links
Nature and nurture work together to shape the brain

Washington Scientists presented new research today demonstrating the impact life experiences can have on genes and behavior. The studies examine how such environmental information can be transmitted from one generation to the next a phenomenon known as epigenetics. This new knowledge could ultimately improve understanding of brain plasticity, the cognitive benefits of motherhood, and how a parent's exposure to drugs, alcohol, and stress can alter brain development and behavior in their offspring.

The findings were presented at Neuroscience 2011, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

Today's new findings show that:

  • Brain cell activation changes a protein involved in turning genes on and off, suggesting the protein may play a role in brain plasticity (Ian Maze, PhD, abstract 660.03, see attached summary).
  • Prenatal exposure to amphetamines and alcohol produces abnormal numbers of chromosomes in fetal mouse brains. The findings suggest these abnormal counts may contribute to the developmental defects seen in children exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero (Jerold Chun, MD, PhD, abstract 166.04, see attached summary).
  • Cocaine-induced changes in the brain may be inheritable. Sons of male rats exposed to cocaine are resistant to the rewarding effects of the drug (Chris Pierce, PhD, abstract 371.05, see attached summary).
  • Motherhood protects female mice against some of the negative effects of stress (Tracey Shors, PhD, abstract 219.12, see attached summary).

Another recent finding discussed shows that:

  • Mice conceived through breeding but not those conceived through reproductive technologies show anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors similar to their fathers. The findings call into question how these behaviors are transmitted across generations (David Dietz, PhD, see attached speaker's summary).

"Research in the last few years has dramatically changed what we know about how behaviors are inherited," said press conference moderator Flora Vaccarino, MD, from Yale University, an expert on the developing brain. "Today's findings show how our genes and environment work together to influence brain development throughout a lifetime."


Contact: Kat Snodgrass
Society for Neuroscience

Related medicine news :

1. Lung cancer signatures in blood samples may aid in early detection
2. Penn researchers find neural signature of mental time travel
3. Nature Publishing Group supports ASCB Childcare Awards for scientist-parents at annual meeting
4. Researchers home in on genetic signature of esophageal cancer
5. Social media can alter research priorities, according to paper in Nature
6. Natures elegant solution to repairing DNA in cancer, other conditions
7. Genomic signature in post-menopausal women may explain why pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk
8. The cerebellum provides clues to the nature of human intelligence
9. Nature Reviews Cancer article traces possible role of damaged DNA in tumor development
10. New gift from Mother Nature’s medicine chest may help prevent and treat bone diseases
11. Sign languages help us understand the nature of metaphors
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Preparing for the LDT ... 3:00 p.m. EST, , FDA has long asserted that design and ... to performing the tests and do not meet the device regulations. , Come up ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... pleased to welcome Winter-Dent & Company as its newest Partner Firm. Based in ... become a client's most trusted advisor regardless of whether that client is a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... With Thanksgiving right around the corner, holiday travel season is about to begin. ... vehicle. , According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 301 people were killed ... safety tips from the NHTSA: , Inspect tires ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Rodney E. Willey , ... His new venture, Koala Center for Sleep Disorders, provides treatment for snoring and sleep ... who have opened a Koala Center for Sleep Disorders in the US, one of four ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Dr. Kevin ... office to help the community stress less this holiday season. During the Indiana ... stress in people's lives and the team at AlignLife want to help provide the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24. November 2015 Avery Biomedical ... Systems, ist erfreut, die Berufung von Anders ... geben zu können. ... --> Foto -   ... Von 1984-1986 war er Fellow des Cardiovascular ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... India , November 24, 2015 ... market research report "Spine Biologics Market by Product Type (Bone ... (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion, Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion), End ... MarketsandMarkets, the global market was valued at $1.90 Billion in ... at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Avery Biomedical Devices (ABD), ... to announce the appointment of Anders Jonzon , ... Dr. Jonzon is a ... Children,s Hospital, Uppsala University, Uppsala and Children,s Hospital, Karolinska, ... was a fellow at the Cardiovascular Institute (UCSF). His ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: