Tuesday, December 02, 2008

DNA may contain memories, control sexual orientation


Courtney Miller and David Sweatt of the University of Alabama in Birmingham say that long-term memories may be preserved by a process called DNA methylation - the addition of chemical caps called methyl groups onto our DNA.

Many genes are already coated with methyl groups. When a cell divides, this "cellular memory" is passed on and tells the new cell what type it is - a kidney cell, for example. Miller and Sweatt argue that in neurons, methyl groups also help to control the exact pattern of protein expression needed to maintain the synapses that make up memories.

{ snip }

Because the exact pattern of methylation eventually stabilised and then stayed constant for seven days, when the experiment ended, the researchers say the methyl changes may be anchoring the memory of the shock into long-term memory, not just controlling a process involved in memory formation.

New Scientist


Interesting. I wonder how much of this passes on, and in what form (fear of snakes, distrust of short men, etc).


US researchers are finding common biological traits among gay men, feeding a growing consensus that sexual orientation is an inborn combination of genetic and environmental factors that largely decide a person's sexual attractions before they are born.

Such findings - including a highly anticipated study this winter - would further inform the debate over whether homosexuality is innate or a choice, an undercurrent of California's recent Proposition 8 campaign in which television commercials warned that "schools would begin teaching second-graders that boys could marry boys", suggesting homosexuality would then spread.

{ snip }

Until 2007, CNN polls had found that a majority of Americans believed gay people could change their sexual orientation if they chose to; it was only last year that a majority for the first time said homosexuality was an inborn trait.

Guardian


Conservatives screw this issue up. Homosexuality is genetic; however, you must thwart the liberal agenda of saying that all behaviors are acceptable in all places at all times. You can argue that without being a dunce, but trying to debate obvious science -- and it's been obvious for decades -- is stupid.

1 Comments:

At 11:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humans are often born with genetic maladies. Addiction is also a genetic trait. That doesn't mean we must all embrace it.

 

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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