Epigenetics News

Epigenetics: Sugar causes bee genes to express differently than honey

Spread the love
Sugar changes bees’ gene expression/The physicist, Fotolia

Beekeepers often save money by overwintering their hives with sugar. And that may play a role in the widespread problem of colony collapse disorder.

From ScienceDaily:

The researchers focused on gene activity in response to feeding with honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or sucrose. They found that those bees fed honey had a very different profile of gene activity in the fat body than those relying on HFCS or sucrose. Hundreds of genes showed differences in activity in honey bees consuming honey compared with those fed HFCS or sucrose. These differences remained even in an experimental hive that the researchers discovered was infected with deformed wing virus, one of the many maladies that afflict honey bees around the world.

“Our results parallel suggestive findings in humans,” Robinson said. “It seems that in both bees and humans, sugar is not sugar — different carbohydrate sources can act differently in the body.”

Some of the genes that were activated differently in the honey-eating bees have been linked to protein metabolism, brain-signaling and immune defense. The latter finding supports a 2013 study led by U. of I. entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who reported that some substances in honey increase the activity of genes that help the bees break down potentially toxic substances such as pesticides.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

7 Replies to “Epigenetics: Sugar causes bee genes to express differently than honey

  1. 1
    DavidD says:

    This is fascinating, I love more and more the epigenetic research that is coming out and I find it will have more practical application than viewing something as a bundle of compromises and mistakes. In the documentary “The Ghost in Your Genes”, I believe geneticist Marcus Pembrey makes reference to certain genetic switches being turned of in embryos who were merely placed in petri dishes as opposed to being naturally in the womb.

    This makes me wonder even more how changed and adulterated many lab experiences might be given the removal of an organism from it’s natural setting to a sterile artificial one. How much information and actual understanding gets lost. Off hand I’m thinking of the artificial sterile setting for the Lenski experiments, aside from the obvious Intelligent Design manipulation component his presence offers in the studies.

    Still, it’s all just very intriguing. Thanks for this.

  2. 2
    REC says:

    Epigenetics? No. no. no. Search the text of the news and journal articles. Is the word there? Learn what it is before spouting off on it.

    Is the Lac Operon “Epigenetic”?

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Yeah, an interesting observation, DavidD. I’m amazed how rapidly new epigenic phenomena are being discovered!

    Regarding Lenski’s experiment, you might be interested in reading Mike Behe’s article here:

    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....66361.html

    -Q

  4. 4
    DavidD says:

    DR REC – “Epigenetics? No. no. no. Search the text of the news and journal articles. Is the word there? Learn what it is before spouting off on it.

    Did you even bother to google University of Illinois, entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum and the work done regarding honey bees , epigenetics and such expressions actually used in this article like, “Some of the genes that were activated differently . .” or “honey induces gene expression changes”, really, honey induces gene expression changes ? Isn’t that epigenetics or genomic imprinting ?

    Is the Lac Operon “Epigenetic”?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC2872608/

    This phony righteous indignation has more to do with worldview correctness than anything else. When worldview is seemingly threaten, and one actually has no intelligent response or viable answer in reply, employ an evolutionary strategy in debate for winning an argument by inventing some seeming contradiction, find some imaginary borderline loophole and completely attempt to change the subject.

  5. 5
    DavidD says:

    This is off topic, but related to epigentics or genomic imprinting. There was a paper last year which revealed that our Genes respond positively to the Right Kind of Happiness. Two types of happiness that people pursue were explored.

    The more commonly pursued “Hedonic Happiness”, which is the type we get from pleasure of the senses, such as going on vacation, having a good meal, enjoying a hobby, sport or other types of personal indulgences.

    Barbara L Fredrickson found the results initially surprising, because study participants themselves reported overall feelings of well-being. “Their daily activities provide short-term happiness yet result in negative physical consequences long-term,” she said.

    “We can make ourselves happy through simple pleasures, but those ‘empty calories’ don’t help us broaden our awareness or build our capacity in ways that benefit us physically,” she said. “At the cellular level, our bodies appear to respond better to a different kind of well-being, one based on a sense of connectedness and purpose.”

    Then Steven Cole one of the authors said, “Eudaimonic Happiness”, which is a contented state of being happy that we get from a noble goal that brings us pleasure. This can be working to relieve the suffering of another living being, spiritual pursuits, or searching for and finding a greater purpose in our lives.

    The researcher had this to say: “What this study tells us is that doing good and feeling good have very different effects on the human genome, even though they generate similar levels of positive emotion. Apparently, the human genome is much more sensitive to different ways of achieving happiness than are conscious minds.”

    http://www.spring.org.uk/2013/.....piness.php

    http://www.pnas.org/content/110/33/13684

    Acts 20:35
    Jesus said, ‘We are more happy when we give than when we receive.’

    Funny how this has been known from the start.

  6. 6
    Acartia_bogart says:

    DavidD:

    Off hand I’m thinking of the artificial sterile setting for the Lenski experiments, aside from the obvious Intelligent Design manipulation component his presence offers in the studies.

    Where was the intelligent design manipulation? At no time did he go in and directly manipulate the genome. All he did was manipulate the environment.

  7. 7
    Querius says:

    DavidD,

    When worldview is seemingly threaten, and one actually has no intelligent response or viable answer in reply, employ an evolutionary strategy in debate for winning an argument by inventing some seeming contradiction, find some imaginary borderline loophole and completely attempt to change the subject.

    Yes, that becomes quickly clear. There’s a level of combativeness for its own sake that’s disappointingly lacking in intellectual integrity.

    I have good discussions/debates with a physicist friend of mine who is both a Christian and believes in long-age evolution. Our discussions are sometimes intense, but we “argue fair,” which makes them interesting and challenging.

    It’s that level of honesty and sincerity that I miss here from the folks who disagree, not to mention the pointless and gratiutous ad hominem attacks.

    -Q

Leave a Reply