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Epigenetic Marks Lay Foundations for a Child’s Future Abilities

Epigenetic marks on our DNA account for how all cells in the body have the same DNA sequence, inherited from our parents, but nonetheless there are hundreds of different cell types. The body uses epigenetics as its principal control system, to increase or decrease the expression of our genes, and epigenetic processes are known to be important in memory and other aspects of brain function. The new research used umbilical cord tissue collected at birth and identified epigenetic marks in a key brain development gene called HES1 that were linked to the child’s ability to learn and their cognitive performance at ages 4 and 7 years. The findings in two groups of children in Southampton, UK, were accompanied by additional findings in children from Singapore that HES1 epigenetic marks at birth were associated with aspects of socially disruptive behaviour that have previously been linked with a reduced school performance.

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First You Make Eye Contact, Suggests Kansas State University Child Development Scholar

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This story looks at how to enrich that special connection between a child and parents.

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How the Brain Balances Risk-Taking and Learning

Salk scientists discover a learning circuit in worms that gives clues to human behavior.

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Food for Thought: Master Protein Enhances Learning and Memory

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Salk scientists discover a single protein that energizes muscles and the brain

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Trending Stories Report for 7 April 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: education, children's health, autism, obesity, smoking, weight loss, LHC re-start, malaria, food safety, kidney disease, and avian flu.

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Trending Stories Report for 6 April 2015

Trending news releases with the most views in a single day. Topics include: neurology, concussions, STEM jobs, Medical licensing, gun safety and youth, research ethics, and sleep apnea and blood pressure.

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Element of Surprise Helps Babies Learn

Infants have innate knowledge about the world and learn best when their expectations are defied.

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Having a Purpose in Life May Improve Health of Aging Brain

Having a strong sense that your life has meaning and direction may make you less likely to develop areas of brain damage caused by blockages in blood flow as you age. This research is reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

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Changes in a Blood-Based Molecular Pathway Identified in Alzheimer’s Disease

New research identifies a bridge between the mechanisms that spur the destruction of neurons in Alzheimer’s disease - accumulation of the amyloid-β peptide (the main component of plaques found in Alzheimer’s patient brains) and chronic inflammation..

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Robot Model for Infant Learning Shows Bodily Posture May Affect Memory and Learning

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Using both robots and infants, an Indiana University cognitive scientist and collaborators have found that posture is critical in the early stages of acquiring new knowledge.