Neuronal Plasticity

MicroRNA – controlled ecological adaptations

A post-transcriptional mechanism pacing expression of neural genes with precursor cell differentiation status Introduction: Eukaryotic gene expression is an intricate balancing act between transcription and post-transcriptional steps of RNA metabolism. Developmental readjustment of this balance allows large cohorts of genes to be expressed in cell- and tissue-specific manner. Among other regulators, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) provide an important means for modulating RNA processing and turnover in the context of cellular differentiation1, 2, 3, 4. For example, downregulation of the ubiquitously expressed…

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The RNA-mediated sum of our parts

See also: The sum of our RNA-mediated parts The Sum of Our Parts Excerpt: Putting the microbiome front and center in health care, in preventive strategies, and in health-risk assessments could stem the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. I decided to comment on this, again, and post a comment to “The Scientist” after Jay R. Feireman, who banned me from participation on the International Society for Human Ethology yahoo group, posted a link to the article. Feierman has done more than…

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Celebrating independence from ridiculous theories

Firework Colors Enhanced by Elements of Life Excerpt: “…these elements are involved in everything from transporting oxygen and releasing hormones to regulating blood pressure and maintaining bone strength. They also give a burst of color when they are added to a fireworks recipe.” My comment: An epigenetic (above the genome) trap links the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light when it is slowed on contact with water. The epigenetic trap causes the light-induced de novo…

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Is SUMOylation RNA-directed DNA methylation? (revisited)

See: Is SUMOylation RNA-directed DNA methylation? posted here on 6/16/15 See also: 1) The Persistence of Hippocampal-Based Memory Requires Protein Synthesis Mediated by the Prion-like Protein CPEB3 (subscription required 6/17/15) 2) SUMOylation Is an Inhibitory Constraint that Regulates the Prion-like Aggregation and Activity of CPEB3 (open access 6/23/15) 3) The CPEB3 Protein Is a Functional Prion that Interacts with the Actin Cytoskeleton (open access 6/23/15) 4) MicroRNA-22 Gates Long-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity in Aplysia through Presynaptic Regulation of CPEB and Downstream…

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“New” epigenetic mechanism for lifelong learning?

Critical Role of Histone Turnover in Neuronal Transcription and Plasticity Reported as: Lifelong learning is made possible by recycling of histones, study says Also reported as: New epigenetic mechanism revealed in brain cells Excerpt: In humans, researchers used a technique called 14C/12C bomb pulse dating to measure turnover. The technique is based on the fact that high levels of radioactive carbon (14C) were released into the atmosphere during the 1950s and 1960s, when open-air nuclear bomb testing occurred following the…

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microRNAs and memory: Why trust a theory?

Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems Abstract excerpt: … links nutrient-dependent epigenetic effects on base pairs and amino acid substitutions to pheromone-controlled changes in the microRNA / messenger RNA balance and chromosomal rearrangements. The nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled changes are required for the thermodynamic regulation of intracellular signaling, which enables biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent protein folding… manifested in increasing organismal complexity… My comment: The increasing organismal complexity attributed to microRNAs is manifested in the learning abilities and in the memory of…

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Epigenetic regulation of aging by glycine and GnRH

Summary:  “…the regulation of two genes involved with the production of glycine, the smallest and simplest amino acid, is partly responsible for some of the characteristics of aging. This indicates that the aging process in the mitochondrion is controlled by epigenetic regulation, not by mutations.” My comment: The broad-based extension of the fact that aging is epigenetically controlled, extends everything known about RNA-mediated cell type differentiation across the life history transitions of all genera. The focus here is on vertebrates,…

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Batch effect vs epigenetic effects

A reanalysis of mouse ENCODE comparative gene expression data [awaiting peer review] was reported as: Batch Effect Behind Species-Specific Results? Excerpt: genes in the mouse heart were expressed in a pattern more similar to that of other mouse tissues, such as the brain or liver, than the human heart. My comment: If that was an accurate representation of biologically-based cause and effect, it could not be supported by what is currently known about the biophysically constrained chemistry of nutrient-depenent pheromone-controlled…

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Bee-birthed epigenetics and primate cell types

Summary: This is a fantastic video representation of how nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled RNA-directed DNA methylation links ecological variation to RNA-mediated ecological adaptations via amino acid substitutions in all genera. The Birth of a Bee Excerpt: After the queen bee lays a single egg in a cell of the comb, the worker bees feed the egg for a few days until it hatches into a larva. The larva continues to eat and grow until Day 10. Then, the worker bees cap the…

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A lighting requirement for life

Some Principles of Causal Analysis in Genetics (1936) Extract: high frequency radiation and particles of high velocity are very important components of the environment, causing heritable changes by a process called mutation. Even if we could conduct our experiments behind 30 metres of lead the fact that mutation has a temperature coefficient is enough to show that it depends in part on energy fluctuations which are uncontrollable. Mutations must be controlled. See also: Life on Earth – Flow of Energy…

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  • What Darwin proved: there’s no such thing as a species
    GENETICS As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier A short stretch of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species. By: Emily Singer August 5, 2014 Excerpt: “Scientists have dubbed such regions of the genome “islands of speciation.” The persistence of such islands is a phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of […]
  • Randomness and Divine Providence
    A Q&A on randomness and God’s providence …the main goal is to really put together a collection of scholarly studies of these issues: physicists, biologists, […]
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