Epi-genetics tv program

  1. Just watched an amazing programme:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/horizon/ghostgenes.shtml

    all the more amazing as I had conversed about this process(unknown to me at the time, epigenetics) some years ago on another forum.

    The respected scientists who are just starting to tease info from the genome project are really into domains that are..pretty substantial in our understanding of spacetime experience and our genes, quite amazing.

    The programme needs to be watched at least twice, as the consequences are far reaching.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Thanks for the link. For those who don't know, epigenetics means 'outside of the genes': heritable information that is not encoded into the nucleotide sequence of the genome, such as X-chromosome inactivation and gene silencing.

    With some of the studies that are being done I doubt whether they are viewing effects of epigenetics, or effects of nurturing. For example: rats who are licked a lot by their mother as an infant are lickers themselves, whereas rats that are not licked alot (due to stress of the mother) won't be lickers themselves. Conclusion: licking is heritable.. or is it learned behaviour?
     
  4. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Have they done cross-fostering studies yet? Those are the more definitive studies for distinguishing between learned and heritable behaviors. On the other hand, that still wouldn't address the effects of intrauterine environment; they would need to transfer embryos into surrogate mothers to do that.
     
  5. Monique

    Monique 4,699
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    Yes, it was a cross-fostering study. I guess the clue is that no matter what the foster mother does, the litter is more likely to take on the behaviour of the biological mother. But on the other hand it was said that the action of the mother imprints the behaviour of the litter by released hormones during the licking, so it is a bit fuzzy.
     
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