Behavior (4): All responses are RNA-mediated in birds

Bird Genomes Abound

Scientists complete the largest-ever comparative genomic study of birds.

By Ruth Williams | December 11, 2014

Excerpt: “The results of this effort provide not only the most precise genetic history of birds to date, but also reveal why avian genomes tend to be small compared to those of other vertebrates: because they have lost a lot of genes and have far fewer repeat sequences. Furthermore, the data show that, compared with mammals, both the nucleotide sequences and the order of genes tend to be more conserved—perhaps because of the smaller number of repeat sequences, which would reduce the possibility of homologous recombination events.”

See also: 3-D maps of folded genome: Catalog of 10,000 loops reveals new form of genetic regulation
Excerpt: “More and more, we’re realizing that folding is regulation,” said study co-first author Suhas Rao, a researcher at Baylor’s Center for Genome Architecture and a 2012 graduate of Harvard College. “When you see genes turn on or off, what lies behind that is a change in folding. It’s a different way of thinking about how cells work.”
See also: Slight alterations in microRNA sequences hold more information than previously thought
Excerpt 1): “We know now that miRNAs are regulators of protein-coding and also of non-protein-coding RNA transcripts and that they regulate the abundance of the affected transcripts, the miRNA “targets,” in a sequence-dependent manner. What makes miRNAs so important is their involvement in fundamental processes such as development and homeostasis. Not surprisingly, miRNAs and their dysregulation have also being linked to many human conditions, diseases, and syndromes.”
Excerpt 2): Dr. Rigoutsos states that “one can reasonably assume that analogous observations likely hold true for other cell types as well.” sex and individual population differences
My comment: Sven Bocklandt occupied one of the 2 rooms linked to the same dormitory shower facility with me when were attending the 1995 conference International Behavioral Development Symposium: Biological Basis of Sexual Orientation and Sex-typical Behavior where I presented my model as a poster session. That conference presentation led to publication of From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior and to my award-winning journal publication concurrently published as a book chapter in the Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality (authors copy here): The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences.
Abstract:  The across-species genetic conservation of intercellular and extracellular chemical communication enables unicellular and multicellular organisms to functionally distinguish between self and non-self. Non-self olfactory/pheromonal input from the social environment elicits a vertebrate neuroendocrine response. The organization and activation of this neuroendocrine response modulates the concurrent maturation of the mammalian neuroendocrine system, the reproductive system, and the central nervous system during the development of sexual preferences that may be expressed in sexual behavior. Psycho-physiological mechanisms for the development of these sexual preferences include focus on unconscious affects that are detailed in reciprocal cause and effect relationships. Olfactory/pheromonal conditioning elicits neuroendocrine effects accompanied by unconscious affects on the development of sexual preferences. Integrating these unconscious affects extends to humans a developmental model of behavior that includes the development of male sexual preferences for other males.
See also: Foreword: Sexual Development—Nature’s Substrate for Nurture’s Influence by Milton Diamond, who is first author of our 1996 Review: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior
If you were a geneticist at UCLA who finally realized after nearly two decades that the first behavioral response is RNA-mediated not DNA-determined, what would you tell other serious scientists about your inability to accept that fact. Would you say nothing but then ask  Is There a Role for Epigenetics? in the Basis of Human Sexual Orientation.
See also: Fetal Brain Gene Expression Patterns Differ By Sex  (2003)
Excerpt 1) “These gene expression differences are found before genital hormone manufacture could possibly begin to play a role in influencing sexual development of the brain.”
My comment: That means the differences are RNA-mediated.
Excerpt 2) “It rebuts 30 years of scientific dogma that the hormones, estrogen and testosterone, alone were responsible for differences between the male and female brain.”
My comment: In our 1996 review, we rebutted the decades of scientific dogma by reporting on the molecular epigenetics of RNA-mediated sex differences in cell types that were obviously nutrient-dependent, but not so obviously pheromone-controlled.
Now that is obvious that RNA-mediated nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation occurs via amino acid substitutions that stabilize protein folding in species from microbes to man, Vilain and others like him should simply claim their incredible ignorance of biologically-based cause and effect or offer an alternative explanation of how an evolutionary event altered DNA that was naturally selected and led to the biodiversity of cell type differences in all cells of all individuals of all species.
Instead, we see evidence of the head-in-the-sand attitude of researchers who would rather not examine the biological basis of RNA-mediated events and instead keep looking for clues to RNA-mediated disorders and diseases.
Excerpt: “Fascinating as it may be to understand the biological basis of sexual orientation, however, not everyone is convinced it’s a necessary line of investigation. “Should we test this? Is it important for us to know?” asked McCarthy. “Homosexuality is not a disease, it’s part of natural human variation. I’m not sure there’s a good reason to delve this deeply into it. I think we’ve reached the point that we have enough evidence that there’s a biological basis for sexual orientation.” It would be more helpful to people to get a better handle on the epigenetics of cancer or mental illness, she added.”
Peg’s statement is a clear indicator of what Lewis Thomas reported in his article and book chapter: A Fear of Pheromones, but also in On Smell as cited in The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality
In 2010, Peg interrupted a conversation between me and Barry Komisaruk, who had linked GnRH secretion via LH to behavior in 1990, reported in Love as sensory stimulation: physiological consequences of its deprivation and expression. I had hoped to discuss with Barry the significance of the the Rolland and Moenter poster, which led from their 2011 publication Regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons by glucose to publication of Reproductive neuroendocrine dysfunction in polycystic ovary syndrome: insight from animal models.
Update: It would be interesting to compare liver gene expression patterns in homosexuals to heterosexuals to see if liver gene expression differs from male and female expression patterns in homosexuals.
I agree. For example: The microbial digestion of nutrients is linked from ecological variation in nutrients and their metabolism to species-specific pheromones in mice and humans. The de novo Creation of odor receptor genes called TAARs synergistacally links differences in nutrient uptake of choline to its metabolism in the liver (Patel et al., 2014) and to RNA-mediated invents linked to sex differences in cell types that respond to pheromones via the same neuronal system in mice and humans (the GnRH neuronal system).

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