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behavior genetics

Mitchell S Weisenberger, Tara L Deans
Synthetic biologists use engineering principles to design and construct genetic circuits for programming cells with novel functions. A bottom-up approach is commonly used to design and construct genetic circuits by piecing together functional modules that are capable of reprogramming cells with novel behavior. While genetic circuits control cell operations through the tight regulation of gene expression, a diverse array of environmental factors within the extracellular space also has a significant impact on cell behavior...
March 19, 2018: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology
Xiao Yi
Biological functions - studied by molecular, systems and behavioral biology - are referred to as proximate mechanisms. Why and how they have emerged from the course of evolution are referred to as ultimate mechanisms. Despite the conceptual and technical schism between the disciplines that focus on each, studies from one side can benefit the other. Experimental evolution is an emerging field at the crossroads of functional and evolutionary biology. Herein microorganisms and mammalian cell lines evolve in well-controlled laboratory environments over multiple generations...
December 2017: Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology
Molly J Dingel, Jenny Ostergren, Kathleen Heaney, Barbara A Koenig, Jennifer McCormick
The gene has infiltrated the way citizens perceive themselves and their health. However, there is scant research that explores the ways genetic conceptions infiltrate individuals' understanding of their own health as it relates to a behavioral trait, like addiction. Do people seeking treatment for addiction ground their self-perception in biology in a way that shapes their experiences? We interviewed 63 participants in addiction treatment programs, asking how they make meaning of a genetic understanding of addiction in the context of their recovery, and in dealing with the stigma of addiction...
December 2017: BioSocieties
Marta Zamarbide, Adam W Oaks, Heather L Pond, Julia S Adelman, M Chiara Manzini
Hundreds of genes are mutated in non-syndromic intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with each gene often involved in only a handful of cases. Such heterogeneity can be daunting, but rare recessive loss of function (LOF) mutations can be a good starting point to provide insight into the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disease. Biallelic LOF mutations in the signaling scaffold CC2D1A cause a rare form of autosomal recessive ID, sometimes associated with ASD and seizures. In parallel, we recently reported that Cc2d1a -deficient mice present with cognitive and social deficits, hyperactivity and anxiety...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Paul A Garber
Over the past few decades, field studies conducted by Chinese primatologists have contributed significant new theoretical and empirical insights into the behavior, ecology, biology, genetics, and conservation of lorises, macaques, langurs, snub-nosed monkeys, and gibbons. With the recent establishment and inaugural meeting of the China Primatological Society in 2017, China has emerged as a leading nation in primate research. Several research teams have conducted long-term studies despite the difficult challenges of habituating and observing wild primates inhabiting mountainous temperate forests, and the fact that some 80% of China's 25-27 primate species are considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered and are distributed in small isolated subpopulations...
January 24, 2018: Zoological Research
M McGowan, M K Holland, G Boe-Hansen
This review focuses on current understanding of prenatal, prepubertal and post-pubertal development of the male reproductive system of cattle. The critical developmental events occur during the first 3 to 4 months of gestation and the first ~6 to 9 months after birth. The Wilms Tumor-1 and SRY proteins play critical roles in early development and differentiation of the fetal testis, which in turn drives gestational development of the entire male reproductive system. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis matures earlier in the bovine fetus than other domestic species with descent of the testes into the scrotum occurring around the 4th month of gestation...
March 19, 2018: Animal: An International Journal of Animal Bioscience
Chelsea R Kasten, Yanping Zhang, Ken Mackie, Stephen L Boehm
Cannabis use is linked to positive and negative outcomes. Identifying genetic targets of susceptibility to the negative effects of cannabinoid use is of growing importance. The current study sought to complete short-term selective breeding for adolescent sensitivity and resistance to the locomotor effects of a single 10 mg/kg THC dose in the open field. Selection for THC-locomotor sensitivity was moderately heritable, with the greatest estimates of heritability seen in females from the F2 to S3 generations...
March 17, 2018: Behavior Genetics
I Hyun Ruisch, Jan K Buitelaar, Jeffrey C Glennon, Pieter J Hoekstra, Andrea Dietrich
BACKGROUND: Pregnancy factors have been implicated in offspring oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) symptoms. Literature still holds notable limitations, such as studying only a restricted set of pregnancy factors, use of screening questionnaires which assess broadly defined outcome measures, and lack of control for disruptive behavior comorbidity and genetic confounds. We aimed to address these gaps by prospectively studying a broad range of pregnancy factors in relation to both offspring ODD and CD symptomatology in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parent and Children...
February 23, 2018: Journal of Psychiatric Research
Dong-Oh Seo, Laura E Motard, Michael R Bruchas
Great efforts in clinical and basic research have shown progress in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit hyperactive disorders. Literature on this field have suggested that these disorders are affected by the complex interaction of genetic, biological, psychosocial and environmental risk factors. However, this complexity of interplaying risk factors during neurodevelopment has prevented a complete understanding of the causes of those neuropsychiatric symptoms...
March 14, 2018: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Gary J Lewis, Nicolas G Shakeshaft, Robert Plomin
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism-like traits are associated with deficits in face memory ability, although it is not yet clear whether this deficit reflects a specific aspect of the ASD/autism-like phenotype. We addressed this issue using a neurotypical sample of adolescent twins (Ncomplete pairs  = 782) drawn from the Twins Early Development Study who were assessed on face and object memory performance alongside two core aspects of autism-like traits: (i) difficulties with social behavior/interactions, and (ii) attention to detail...
March 16, 2018: Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Joyce J Endendijk, Marleen G Groeneveld, Judi Mesman
This article reviews and integrates research on gender-related biological, cognitive, and social processes that take place in or between family members, resulting in a newly developed gendered family process (GFP) model. The GFP model serves as a guiding framework for research on gender in the family context, calling for the integration of biological, social, and cognitive factors. Biological factors in the model are prenatal, postnatal, and pubertal androgen levels of children and parents, and genetic effects on parent and child gendered behavior...
March 16, 2018: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Zoë W Hawks, Natasha Marrus, Anne L Glowinski, John N Constantino
Previous research has suggested that behavioral comorbidity is the rule rather than the exception in autism. The present study aimed to trace the respective origins of autistic and general psychopathologic traits-and their association-to infancy. Measurements of autistic traits and early liability for general psychopathology were assessed in 314 twins at 18 months, ascertained from the general population using birth records. 222 twins were re-evaluated at 36 months. Standardized ratings of variation in social communication at 18 months were highly heritable and strongly predicted autistic trait scores at 36 months...
March 16, 2018: Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Neshat Golikhajeh, Bahram Naseri, Jabraeil Razmjou, Reza Hosseini, Marzieh Asadi Aghbolaghi
In order to understand the population genetic diversity and structure of Spodoptera exigua (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), a serious pest of sugar beet in Iran and the world, we genotyped 133 individuals from seven regions in Iran using four microsatellite loci. Significant difference was seen between the observed and expected heterozygosity in all loci. A lower observed heterozygosity than expected heterozygosity indicated a low heterozygosity in these populations. The value of F showed a high genetic differentiation, so that the mean of Fst was 0...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Economic Entomology
Yehuda Ben-Shahar
Manganese (Mn) is an essential trace element that acts as a metal co-factor in diverse biochemical and cellular functions. However, chronic environmental exposure to high levels of Mn is a well-established risk factor for the etiology of severe, atypical parkinsonian syndrome (manganism) via its accumulation in the basal ganglia, pallidum, and striatum brain regions, which is often associated with abnormal dopamine, GABA, and glutamate neural signaling. Recent studies have indicated that chronic Mn exposure at levels that are below the risk for manganism can still cause behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions via poorly understood mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Christopher J Lambert, Briana C Freshner, Arlen Chung, Tamara J Stevenson, D Miranda Bowles, Raheel Samuel, Bruce K Gale, Joshua L Bonkowsky
Zebrafish are a valuable model organism in biomedical research. Their rapid development, ability to model human diseases, utility for testing genetic variants identified from next-generation sequencing, amenity to CRISPR mutagenesis, and potential for therapeutic compound screening, has led to their wide-spread adoption in diverse fields of study. However, their power for large-scale screens is limited by the absence of automated genotyping tools for live animals. This constrains potential drug screen options, limits analysis of embryonic and larval phenotypes, and requires raising additional animals to adulthood to ensure obtaining an animal of the desired genotype...
2018: PloS One
Maurizio Manca, Veridiana Pessoa, Ana Illera Lopez, Patrick T Harrison, Fabio Miyajima, Helen Sharp, Andrew Pickles, Jonathan Hill, Chris Murgatroyd, Vivien J Bubb, John P Quinn
The monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) uVNTR (upstream variable number tandem repeat) is one of the most often cited examples of a gene by environment interaction (GxE) in relation to behavioral traits. However, MAOA possesses a second VNTR, 500 bp upstream of the uVNTR, which is termed d- or distal VNTR. Furthermore, genomic analysis indicates that there are a minimum of two transcriptional start sites (TSSs) for MAOA, one of which encompasses the uVNTR within the 5' untranslated region of one of the isoforms. Through expression analysis in semi-haploid HAP1 cell lines genetically engineered in order to knockout (KO) either the uVNTR, dVNTR, or both VNTRs, we assessed the effect of the two MAOA VNTRs, either alone or in combination, on gene expression directed from the different TSSs...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Molecular Neuroscience: MN
Anja B Riber, Teresa M Casey-Trott, Mette S Herskin
This article reviews current knowledge about welfare implications of keel bone damage in laying hens. As an initial part, we shortly describe the different conditions and present major risk factors as well as findings on the prevalence of the conditions. Keel bone damage is found in all types of commercial production, however with varying prevalence across systems, countries, and age of the hens. In general, the understanding of animal welfare is influenced by value-based ideas about what is important or desirable for animals to have a good life...
2018: Frontiers in Veterinary Science
M G Carta, A Preti, H S Akiskal
Human population is increasing in immense cities with millions of inhabitants, in which life is expected to run 24 hours a day for seven days a week (24/7). Noise and light pollution are the most reported consequences, with a profound impact on sleep patterns and circadian biorhythms. Disruption of sleep and biorhythms has severe consequences on many metabolic pathways. Suppression of melatonin incretion at night and the subsequent effect on DNA methylation may increase the risk of prostate and breast cancer...
2018: Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health: CP & EMH
Kristina Jakob, Hanna Ehrentreich, Sarah K C Holtfrerich, Luise Reimers, Esther K Diekhof
Hormone by genotype interactions have been widely ignored by cognitive neuroscience. Yet, the dependence of cognitive performance on both baseline dopamine (DA) and current 17ß-estradiol (E2) level argues for their combined effect also in the context of reinforcement learning. Here, we assessed how the interaction between the natural rise of E2 in the late follicular phase (FP) and the 40 base-pair variable number tandem repeat polymorphism of the dopamine transporter (DAT1) affects reinforcement learning capacity...
2018: Frontiers in Endocrinology
Aleksander H Erga, Ingvild Dalen, Anastasia Ushakova, Janete Chung, Charalampos Tzoulis, Ole Bjørn Tysnes, Guido Alves, Kenn Freddy Pedersen, Jodi Maple-Grødem
Introduction: Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are frequent non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD), with potential negative effects on the quality of life and social functioning. ICDs are closely associated with dopaminergic therapy, and genetic polymorphisms in several neurotransmitter pathways may increase the risk of addictive behaviors in PD. However, clinical differentiation between patients at risk and patients without risk of ICDs is still troublesome. The aim of this study was to investigate if genetic polymorphisms across several neurotransmitter pathways were associated with ICD status in patients with PD...
2018: Frontiers in Neurology
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