[personal profile] 7rin
I'm gonna try to tidy this up to make it more readable, but I suspect if the thread continues, it's gonna wind up being dumped in comments too because I'm gonna run outta character spaces.

How do you feel about adoption?

Jennifer Randazzo Good.

Gloria Orange-Barnett The gift of a safe and loving home to a child in need is truly a gift to oneself.

Lynn Early Brown It is truly a blessing...I was adopted as an infant and my husband and I have adopted both our children thru foster-to-adopt! It is amazing and a gift from God!

Liz Larson-Shidler The best alternative.

Linda Wallin Thrilled! My son comes home from India today with his new son!

Angela Jensen Dunigan We are in the process of my husband adopting my daughter, which will legalize what has already existed for the past nearly 6 years - their father-daughter relationship. I love that she will now have our name too. She's 13 and I can think of no more critical an age for her to have this security of a loving, legal father. I also have loved ones with children whom they adopted at birth. I'm a fan of adoption.

...and then the adoptees start answering )
[personal profile] 7rin
Uploaded by CooDocu on Oct 28, 2011

Biology stands on the brink of a shift in the understanding of inheritance. The discovery of epigenetics -- hidden influences upon the genes -- could affect every aspect of our lives.

At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea -- that genes have a 'memory'. That the lives of your grandparents -- the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw -- can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself. And that what you do in your lifetime could in turn affect your grandchildren.

The conventional view is that DNA carries all our heritable information and that nothing an individual does in their lifetime will be biologically passed to their children. To many scientists, epigenetics amounts to a heresy, calling into question the accepted view of the DNA sequence -- a cornerstone on which modern biology sits.

Epigenetics adds a whole new layer to genes beyond the DNA. It proposes a control system of 'switches' that turn genes on or off -- and suggests that things people experience, like nutrition and stress, can control these switches and cause heritable effects in humans.

Read more... )

[personal profile] 7rin
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2633676/ @ Cell Adhesion & Migration [journal]

2007 Jan-Mar; 1(1): 19–27.
by Gavin S Dawe, Xiao Wei Tan, and Zhi-Cheng Xiao

Abstract
Fetal cells migrate into the mother during pregnancy. Fetomaternal transfer probably occurs in all pregnancies and in humans the fetal cells can persist for decades. Microchimeric fetal cells are found in various maternal tissues and organs including blood, bone marrow, skin and liver. In mice, fetal cells have also been found in the brain. The fetal cells also appear to target sites of injury. Fetomaternal microchimerism may have important implications for the immune status of women, influencing autoimmunity and tolerance to transplants. Further understanding of the ability of fetal cells to cross both the placental and blood-brain barriers, to migrate into diverse tissues, and to differentiate into multiple cell types may also advance strategies for intravenous transplantation of stem cells for cytotherapeutic repair. Here we discuss hypotheses for how fetal cells cross the placental and blood-brain barriers and the persistence and distribution of fetal cells in the mother.

Key Words: fetomaternal microchimerism, stem cells, progenitor cells, placental barrier, blood-brain barrier, adhesion, migration



See also: http://lauragraceweldon.com/2012/06/12/mother-child-are-linked-at-the-cellular-level/ which is the blog I finally tracked the link to the research down on while I was drifting around Google looking for the right search terms.
[personal profile] 7rin
By GINA KOLATA
Published: September 5, 2012

Among the many mysteries of human biology is why complex diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and psychiatric disorders are so difficult to predict and, often, to treat. An equally perplexing puzzle is why one individual gets a disease like cancer or depression, while an identical twin remains perfectly healthy.

Now scientists have discovered a vital clue to unraveling these riddles. The human genome is packed with at least four million gene switches that reside in bits of DNA that once were dismissed as “junk” but that turn out to play critical roles in controlling how cells, organs and other tissues behave. The discovery, considered a major medical and scientific breakthrough, has enormous implications for human health because many complex diseases appear to be caused by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches.

The findings, which are the fruit of an immense federal project involving 440 scientists from 32 laboratories around the world, will have immediate applications for understanding how alterations in the non-gene parts of DNA contribute to human diseases, which may in turn lead to new drugs. They can also help explain how the environment can affect disease risk. In the case of identical twins, small changes in environmental exposure can slightly alter gene switches, with the result that one twin gets a disease and the other does not.

Read more... )

A version of this article appeared in print on September 6, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Study Discovers Road Map of DNA; A Key to Biology.

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