Posted 3 days ago

neurosciencestuff:

Hereditary trauma

The phenomenon has long been known in psychology: traumatic experiences can induce behavioural disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next. It is only recently that scientists have begun to understand the physiological processes underlying hereditary trauma. ”There are diseases such as bipolar disorder, that run in families but can’t be traced back to a particular gene”, explains Isabelle Mansuy, professor at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. With her research group at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich, she has been studying the molecular processes involved in non-genetic inheritance of behavioural symptoms induced by traumatic experiences in early life.

Mansuy and her team have succeeded in identifying a key component of these processes: short RNA molecules. These RNAs are synthetized from genetic information (DNA) by enzymes that read specific sections of the DNA (genes) and use them as template to produce corresponding RNAs. Other enzymes then trim these RNAs into mature forms. Cells naturally contain a large number of different short RNA molecules called microRNAs. They have regulatory functions, such as controlling how many copies of a particular protein are made.

Small RNAs with a huge impact

The researchers studied the number and kind of microRNAs expressed by adult mice exposed to traumatic conditions in early life and compared them with non-traumatized mice. They discovered that traumatic stress alters the amount of several microRNAs in the blood, brain and sperm – while some microRNAs were produced in excess, others were lower than in the corresponding tissues or cells of control animals. These alterations resulted in misregulation of cellular processes normally controlled by these microRNAs.

After traumatic experiences, the mice behaved markedly differently: they partly lost their natural aversion to open spaces and bright light and had depressive-like behaviours. These behavioural symptoms were also transferred to the next generation via sperm, even though the offspring were not exposed to any traumatic stress themselves. 

Even passed on to the third generation

The metabolism of the offspring of stressed mice was also impaired: their insulin and blood-sugar levels were lower than in the offspring of non-traumatized parents. “We were able to demonstrate for the first time that traumatic experiences affect metabolism in the long-term and that these changes are hereditary”, says Mansuy. The effects on metabolism and behaviour even persisted in the third generation.

“With the imbalance in microRNAs in sperm, we have discovered a key factor through which trauma can be passed on,” explains Mansuy. However, certain questions remain open, such as how the dysregulation in short RNAs comes about. “Most likely, it is part of a chain of events that begins with the body producing too much stress hormones.”

Importantly, acquired traits other than those induced by trauma could also be inherited through similar mechanisms, the researcher suspects. “The environment leaves traces on the brain, on organs and also on gametes. Through gametes, these traces can be passed to the next generation.”

Mansuy and her team are currently studying the role of short RNAs in trauma inheritance in humans. As they were also able to demonstrate the microRNAs imbalance in the blood of traumatized mice and their offspring, the scientists hope that their results may be useful to develop a blood test for diagnostics.

Posted 3 days ago

christmasisactuallyyule:

Limits of the Human Body by Soda Pop Avenue

Credit goes to SPA, but I wanted this here for a writer’s reference. This way we know exactly how far we can push our characters ;)

(Source: macapan)

Posted 3 days ago

I will draw this woman!

(Source: curvesinlingerie)

Posted 3 days ago

n-a-blue-box:

Inspired by this post

Bucky’s had enough of your shit, Pierce. 

(please do not steal or repost my shitty comic thank you)

Posted 3 days ago
thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.

Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

Posted 3 days ago

foxtrotsky:

agnella:

He went to a Jewish community center and a separate Jewish retirement community, reportedly asked people if they were Jewish before shooting at them, and shouted “Heil Hitler” when he was being taken into custody… And we’re not sure if it was a hate crime? 

welcome to america

Posted 3 days ago

[T]he current Republican House is quite possibly the most intransigent in all of American history. It is also, not coincidentally, among the most ideologically extreme in American history.

That means that the chances the passing meaningful legislation are near zero. It also means that any remotely controversial legislation that does manage to get passed is likely to be only marginally beneficial to the American people, if not actively harmful.

In an environment where nothing good can get passed through Congress, the only legislative tool left in the arsenal is to shame the opposition until they either give in or lose the next election. Rather than attempt to figure out what good bills have a larger-than-zero chance of passing the House, the President should simply work alongside the Democratic Senate to craft good, popular bills and dare the House to reject them and refuse to bring them to a vote…

[I]f Democrats lose the Senate in 2014 and cannot make gains in the House then Obama is already a lame duck President. He might as well do everything in his power to make life miserable for Republicans and maximize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2014.

Posted 3 days ago

thr3ads:

gengaa:

how clear is that water?!

i thought the fish were just laid on the floor

Posted 3 days ago
Nap time

My roommates and I (and eventually my lovers, hopefully!)

(Source: katahane)

Posted 4 days ago

I am very serious about everything and I am holding puppies

(Source: gameofgifs)