The obvious link is made to the relationship between exercise and obesity in childhood:
“If you look in textbooks about regulation of energy balance, they’ll talk about AgRP neurons and their classic role in regulating food intake,” says Waterland. “And yet we didn’t see that. We didn’t see that at all.”
So they tried again. This time, they knocked out the same gene the same way at the same point in development. They fed the mice the same diets. But now they gave the animals access to a running wheel for eight weeks. “That is where we saw the most profound difference,” says Waterland. “Compared to the wild type mice that run about six kilometers a night, these knockout mice only run about half that much.”
While all the mice lost some body fat after being given access to the wheels, the mice that ran more lost more than their more sedentary counterparts.
Emma Yasinski, “Early Epigenetic Changes Regulate Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Study” at The Scientist
The DNA methylations was changed so the mice might pass on laziness.
Textbooks? Textbooks run on Darwinism, not epigenetics, as anyone who has fought in the textbook wars knows.
Along with clarifying the mechanisms underlying the differences in activity levels, the obvious next step, according to Waterland, is to see what the results mean for humans. Much of the epigenetic regulation that occurs in the mouse hypothalamus is established during the so-called suckling period, the first 21 days after their birth. “And that’s the process we interfered with,” he says. But in humans, the timing may be different.Emma Yasinski, “Early Epigenetic Changes Regulate Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Study” at The Scientist
Almost certainly, the timing is different so the critical question is, how wide is that window? Months? Years?
As Yasinki’s story goes on to discuss, it’s not about the capacity for exercise
but the motivation to exercise. Would humans be affected by different motivations?
Paper. (open access)
Why the sea is boiling hot: It’s not just that Darwinian evolution is not being demonstrated to any degree but that a lot of non-Darwinian evolution is being demonstrated.
See also: Irresistible! An epigenetic couch potato mouse Cats everywhere delighted
Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!
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