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Epigenetics: Researchers say separation stress may alter small children’s genes


Raised cortisol levels have been found in children separated from family for thirty or more hours a week, especially those in substandard care:

The authors say that raised cortisol levels are a sign of stress and that the time children spend with their parents is biologically more important than is often realised. Stress has been associated with children, particularly boys, acting aggressively. Not all children are affected, but an important minority are. Raised cortisol levels are associated with reduced antibody levels and changes in those parts of the brain which are associated with emotional stability.

“Environmental factors interact with genes, so that genes can be altered, and once altered by adverse childhood experiences, can pass to future generations. Such epigenetic effects need urgent study,” say the authors.

Sir Denis added: “Future research should explore the links between the care of small children in different settings, their cortisol levels, DNA, and behaviour.”

SAGE, “ Childcare outside the family for the under-threes: cause for concern?” at ScienceDaily

It would, of course, make sense that a stressful environment would alter small children’s biochemistry and, from what we know, possibly their genes. But these conclusions are politically incorrect, of course, so don’t be surprised if the authors are hearing from people who simply couldn’t evaluate the questions rationally and don’t particularly want more research.

See also: Epigenetic change: Lamarck, wake up, you’re wanted in the conference room!

of related note,
Human Cells Respond in Healthy, Unhealthy Ways to Different Kinds of Happiness - July 29, 2013 Excerpt: Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health,,, The sense of well-being derived from “a noble purpose” may provide cellular health benefits, whereas “simple self-gratification” may have negative effects, despite an overall perceived sense of happiness, researchers found.,,, But if all happiness is created equal, and equally opposite to ill-being, then patterns of gene expression should be the same regardless of hedonic or eudaimonic well-being. Not so, found the researchers. Eudaimonic well-being was, indeed, associated with a significant decrease in the stress-related CTRA gene expression profile. In contrast, hedonic well-being was associated with a significant increase in the CTRA profile. Their genomics-based analyses, the authors reported, reveal the hidden costs of purely hedonic well-being.,, “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.” http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130729161952.htm
February 26, 2020
03:21 AM

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