Vol. 341 no. 6146 pp. 626-627
Harrison W. Gabel, Michael E. Greenberg
Excerpt: “The authors chart out striking postnatal alterations in neuronal methylation profiles that occur as synapses develop and are refined, from the fetal to adult stage. The patterns suggest that DNA methylation is important in the maturation of neurons in the developing brain.”
My comment: I presented a poster today at the ISHE Summer Institute with the title: ‘Nutrient-dependent / pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution’ and subtitle: a mammalian model of thermodynamics and organism-level thermoregulation. I included examples of nutrient-dependent ecological niche construction and pheromone-controlled social niche construction that lead to neurogenic niche construction (e.g., in nematodes) and to socio-cognitive niche construction in invertebrates (e.g., the honeybee) and vertebrates including mammals.
A mouse model of a single amino acid substitution with effects on observable phenotypic traits that enable selection for reproductive fitness, links epigenetic effects of nutrient uptake during the past ~30,000 years to selection for socio-cognitive niche construction in the human brain via the conserved molecular mechanisms across species that enable adaptive evolution of the brain and behavior via pheromone-controlled reproduction.
In accord with Lister et al., it appears that the epigenetic effects of glucose and of pheromones on the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system, allow the pulses of GnRH to integrate information provided by complex feedback mechanisms that alter the GnRH pulse and everything downstream from GnRH secretion throughout the life of all vertebrates (sans mutations). Thus, adaptive evolution is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled across all species and mutations can now be looked at more clearly in the context of disease, not mutation-driven evolution.