Epigenetic changes in the developing brain: Effects on behavior
Organized by Donald W. Pfaff (The Rockefeller University) and Eric Barrington Keverne (King’s College, Cambridge)
March 28-29, 2014; National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
The Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia address scientific topics of broad and current interest that cut across the boundaries of traditional disciplines. Each year, three to four colloquia are scheduled, typically two days in length and international in scope. Each colloquium is organized by a member of the NAS, often with the assistance of an organizing committee, and feature presentations by leading scientists in the field and discussions among one hundred or more researchers with an interest in the topic.
The earliest stages of brain development are susceptible to modification by epigenetic processes whose analyses have proceeded less comprehensively in neurons than in other cell types. Yet, a rapidly increasing number of studies have shown consequences of environmental perturbations very early in life, for behavioral events much later in life. Insofar as altered regulation of transcription of specific genes are involved, epigenetic mechanisms can be invoked: DNA methylation, modification of histone N-termini, and one or more of a large number of non-coding RNA’s, as well as the fascinating field of genomic imprinting.
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