Epicene tics of homo

A Los Angeles Times thing that may be of interest on the side of many:
In genetic study of homosexuality, evidence that nurture and nature conspire
Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times – Oct 8, 2015

For men, recently made known research suggests that clues to sexual orientation may malicious not just in the genes, bound in the spaces between the DNA, at what place molecular marks instruct genes when to fashion on and off and how violently to express themselves.

On Thursday, University of California, Los Angeles, corpuscular biologist Tuck C. Ngun reported that in studying the genetic physical of 47 pairs of identical male animal twins, he has identified “epigenetic marks” in nine areas of the human genome that are eagerly linked to male homosexuality.
In individuals, afore~ Ngun, the presence of these well-defined molecular marks can predict homosexuality by an accuracy of close to 70 percent.
That news, presented at the 2015 meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics put ~ Thursday, may leave the genetically ignorant scratching their heads.
But experts declared the results — as yet unpublished in a fellow-reviewed journal — offer preliminary renovated evidence that a man’s genetic heritage is only one influence on his sexual orientation. Through the epigenome, the results advise, some facet of life experience likely also primes a man for same-sex attraction.
Over a person’s lifetime, multitudinous environmental factors — nutrition, poverty, a mother’s benevolence, education, exposure to toxic chemicals — all help shape the person he power of determination become.
Researchers working in the young science of epigenetics acknowledge they are unsure honorable how an individual’s epigenome is formed. But they increasingly imagine it is forged, in part, ~ the agency of the stresses and demands of outward influences. A set of chemical marks that lies betwixt the genes, the epigenome changes the function of genetic material, turning the human body’s roughly 20,000 protein-coding genes ~ward or off in response to the necessarily of the moment.
While genes not often change over a lifetime, the epigenome is constantly changing.
Geneticists put in mind of that together, the human genome and its epigenome cast reproach the interaction of nature and train up — both our fixed inheritance and our bodies’ limber responses to the world — in structure us who we are.
Ngun’s study of twins doesn’t reveal how or whereas a male takes on the epigenomic marks that discern him as homosexual. Many researchers give faith to that a person’s eventual sexual preferences are shaped in the womb, by hormonal shifts during key stages of fetal brain expanding.
By imprinting themselves on the epigenome, notwithstanding that, environmental influences may powerfully affect in what condition an individual’s genes express themselves through the course of his life. Ngun’s findings suggest they may interact with genes to gentle push sexual orientation in one direction or the other.
“The definite contributions of biology versus culture and continued in shaping sexual orientation in humans continues to have ~ing debated,” said University of Maryland pharmacology professor Margaret M. McCarthy, who was not involved in the current study. “But negligent of when, or even how, these epigenetic changes occur,” she added, the modern research “demonstrates a biological base to partner preference.”
To furnish the epigenomic markers of male homosexuality, Ngun, a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine, combed end the genetic material of 47 sets of exactly the same male twins. Thirty-seven of those geminate sets were pairs in which any was homosexual and the other was heterosexual. In 10 of the pairs studied, both twins identified as homosexual.
In not different twins, DNA is shared and overlaps exquisitely. But the existence of twin pairs in which one is homosexual and the other is not offers energetic evidence that something other than DNA alone influences sexual orientation. Ngun and his colleagues looked notwithstanding patterns of DNA methylation — the chemical continued movement by which the epigenome is encoded — to regard as one the missing factor in partner estimation.
Their analysis generated a dataset to a great distance too large for a team of humans to show sense of. So they unleashed a machine learning algorithm on the data to ~ into for regularities that distinguished the epigenomes of homosexual twin-pairs from twins in which simply one was homosexual.
In nine pressed together regions scattered across the genome, they establish patterns of epigenomic differences that would authorize a prediction far more accurate than a stray guess of an individual’s sexual orientation, Ngun reported Thursday.
McCarthy and other experts cautioned that the first view of epigenomic marks suggestive of homosexuality is a farther cry from finding the causes of sexual estimation.
The distinctive epigenomic marks observed ~ dint of. Ngun and his colleagues could result from some other biological or lifestyle go-between common to homosexual men but unrelated to their sexuality, related University of Utah geneticist Christopher Gregg. They could correlative with homosexuality but have nothing to produce with it.
“Epigenetic marks are the importance of complex interactions between the genetics, disentanglement and environment of an individual,” related University of Cambridge geneticist Eric Miska. “Simple correlations — allowing that significant — of epigenetic marks of ~y individual with anything from favorite football actor to disease risk does not signify a causal relationship or understanding.”
One longtime researcher in the range of sexual orientation praised Ngun’s appliance of identical twins as a estate of teasing apart the various biological factors that power of impelling the trait.
“Our best surmise is that there are genes” that adopt a man’s sexual orientation “since that’s what twin studies indicate,” said Northwestern University psychologist J. Michael Bailey, who has explored a extent of physiological markers that point to homosexuality’s origins in the womb. But the existence of identical doubled pairs in which only one is homosexual “conclusively advise that genes don’t explain everything,” Bailey added.
While Ngun’s careful search needs to be replicated in larger studies of twins, it advances the fitful process of in a more excellent way understanding how — and when — a boy’s sexual orientation develops, Bailey said.
(c)2015 Los Angeles Times
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