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.








I am commenting on this article because I too did a summary on the same article. I find it rather fascinating that people are able to now track how chemicals used on the brain can affect parental behavior (for mice that is). It will be interesting to see if this idea of having parental behavior linked with genetics will spread to human use. I think the use of this in the future for people to find their perfect partner sounds a little weird because no one is "perfect." Another use I think this study could help get in motion is the inquiry into if there is a link between a person's genetic make-up and parental abuse.

A person's geographical location may affect how he/she responds to this post/article because if he/she lives in a region where knowledge on genetics is not discussed or taught, the ideas presented in the article may not even be in the forefront of his/her minds [1]. The reason being is because he/she may not even be considering the possibility for the use of genetics in there future choice in mate. This person is probably going to pursue "love partnership" over the potential for "genetic partnership," just because of the lack of understanding and access to such knowledge.


I agree with your statement that if scientists figure out every little aspect of how genetics plays a role in parental behavior that we as humans will try and incorporate this into our daily lives. we have seen people do some weird things to make sure they have the perfect kids and or family, like genetic testing to make sure they either have a girl or boy. I believe that man kind would take these tests and make it into a social ladder. everyone will get tested and where ever you fall in the "good parenting" category, determines how good of a parent you will be. females and males will try and get with someone with the highest level of parenting skills.

About the author