Nature Versus Nurture: Epigenetics And The Microbiome

read about gene-by-environment effects (also called gene x environment or G X E) in the Champagne and Mashoodh (2009) article. The particular example you will examine is epigenetic programming due to variations in maternal care. Specifically, in rodent models, it was found that maternal behavior such as carefully licking and grooming the pups was tied to a decreased stress response and lower levels of exploration fear in the pups. Mothers that displayed low levels of pup licking and grooming had adult offspring with a heightened stress response. This study provided evidence that epigenetic changes can underlie the long-term impact of early life experiences.

For this Discussion, consider the personal and social implications of gene x environment interactions. Also consider other gene x environment interactions future research will be most likely to discover based on your introduction to this new topic.

Explain how epigenetics provides a new perspective on the nature versus nurture debate. Also, reference the Champagne and Mashoodh (2009) article, and provide an explanation of how the rat-nurturing example can further explain human parental behavior. In addition, explain the broader social implications of this type of research. Finally, share your prediction of and rationale for what other gene x environment interactions future research may discover.

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