So You Want to be A Parent
by hartwiga71 on May 9, 2017 - 11:24am
Researcher did a study in December 21, 2016, which looked at was the cause of different parental care in individuals.
“Parental care is essential for the survival of mammals, yet the mechanisms underlying its evolution remain largely unknown.”(1) The study was tested on two sister species of mice, Peromyscus polionotus and Peromyscus maniculatus. Both species have a vast difference in inheritable parental behavior. Using quantitative genetics they were able to identify “12 genomic regions that affect parental care, 8 of which have sex-specific effects, suggesting that parental care can evolve independently in males and females.”(1) The experiment even showed that some regions greatly affected parental care, while others effected specific behaviors such as nest building. “Of the genes linked to differences in nest-building behavior, vasopressin is differentially expressed in the hypothalamus of the two species, with increased levels associated with less nest building.” (1) By using pharmacology in Peromyscus and chemogenetics in Mus, the researcher were able to show that vasopressin blocks the nest building behavior but did not affect other parental behaviors. “Our results indicate that variation in an ancient neuropeptide contributes to interspecific differences in parental care.” (1)
“a) Correlation matrix of parental behaviors in F2 hybrids. B) The linkage (lod score) of each behavior to each marker in each sex and the sex-by-genotype interaction (grey).” (1)
I think that this is a very interesting study to see what effects parenting behavior in individuals. This can help a lot of research that deal with may field, some example being epigenetics, psychology, and genetics as a whole. On the other hand, once this gets to human testing I can also see people using it to find their perfect partner which could lead to custom making humans. I, however, will ignore that worry and continue watching out for more studies like this.