The Daily Dose: Paper puts the brakes on epigenetics; Studying the African-American brain

A study published in the journal, Cell, shoots a missile across the bow of the burgeoning field of epigenetics. According to the paper, the process of passing on methylated DNA, a central tenet of epigenetics, does not occur as frequently as thought. “There’s two rounds of epigenetic reprogramming that occur in the germline that basically prevent any epigenetic marks from being transmitted from one generation to the next,” explains Anne Ferguson-Smith, lead author on the paper. “People don’t seem to appreciate this.”

Astronomers from the Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw have reported the most precise estimate of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) ever made. The researchers used multiple methods designed to measure cosmic distance in order to minimize single-point failure. The findings entrench both sides of how fast the universe is expanding.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, intends to study the interplay between brain diseases and their genomic drivers among African-Americans. Science reports that, “The goal is to better understand how brain diseases play out in this population, which has been profoundly underrepresented in neuroscience research.”

A photo essay appearing in The Lancet highlights the global effort to control tuberculosis. According to the photojournalist, Alexander Kumar, “Poverty and deprivation create breeding grounds for tuberculosis to thrive. The photographs featured here map tuberculosis against social determinants of health and capture contrasting settings where patients with tuberculosis live.”

Changes in diet may have caused the adoption of the “f” and “v” sound during the Neolithic period. According to researchers, softer foods allowed the mouth and bite to evolve into its current form. According to the Scientist, “Labiodental sounds—so named because they require the involvement of the bottom lip and the upper teeth—likely emerged in recent millennia in parallel with diet-driven changes in the human bite configuration.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

The Scientific Inquirer needs your support. Please visit our Patreon page and discover ways that you can make a difference.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: