Sunday, October 30, 2011
Related to Heijmans's paper we read for class, this study investigates ways in which poverty during childhood leads to certain epigenetic markers that might have an influence on adult health and risk for disease. These researchers studied the epigenome of 40 adult males who were involved in the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study, so characteristics of their childhoods and socioeconomic status are well documented among researchers. They used this data to see if there was any correlation between childhood socioeconomic status, and they found that indeed the adult's methylation pattern was more closely related to one's childhood socioeconomic status rather than one's adult socioeconomic status. Many of the regions where these associations occur in the epigenome are seen in "promoters of genes enriched in key cell signalling pathways," calling for more research to see how these altered methylation patterns affect one's adult phenotype and health results.