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Join us to hear the current framework, recent findings and open questions about gene-environment interaction, epigenetics (Lamarck's vengeance?), how it shapes us and our descendants and, on a second moment, a pathology highly associated with these phenomena (Alzheimers’ disease) is discussed from the clinical and pharmacological perspective.
Gene-environment interplay: biological embedding of experience
Prof. Marla B. Sokolowski (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto and the Child and Brain Development Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).)
Previous ideas about the origins of our individual differences were based around the nature-nurture dichotomy. Current research shows that not only do we bring genetic predispositions along with us when we are born but our genes also listen to our experience as we develop. The new field of social epigenetics investigates how our behaviour and physiology responds to our experience through changes in the way genes express themselves during development and under certain environments. This gene-environment interplay throughout development moulds our bodies and minds- making us who we are.
A Cure for Alzheimer’s – Will we ever get there?
A looming threat, and one for which we are woefully underprepared, is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). As lifespans increase around the world, and the baby-boomer generation approaches old-age, AD has begun to spread rapidly. At present, there are 7.7mi new cases per year worldwide. That’s a new case of AD every four seconds. The number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to rise and by 2050 more than 135.5mi people will be struggling with AD. D. Weaver will discuss recent trials and tribulations concerning the discovery of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. But, why is there reason for optimism?