Cis people are so gullible. A doctor basically gave a quick glance at your junk before you were even old enough to communicate and you think that’s the best gauge of your gender? Sad.
The first hint that the worlds of child welfare and neuroscience could be unified was a 2005 study by Moshe Szyf and his colleagues at McGill University, which showed that rat pups raised by abusive mothers had epigenetic changes in a gene that helps rats—and humans—manage stress. This gene, called NR3C1, had a few extra methyl groups stuck to it: tiny quartets of carbon and hydrogen atoms that stick to DNA and derail the cellular machinery that translates genes into proteins. A methylated gene is still there, but it’s muted.
Scientists knew that things like drugs or radiation could turn genes off in this way, but Szyf’s experiment, Pollak says, “was the first demonstration that something like parenting, parental care, was flipping the switch.” A few studies in humans also hinted that trauma might be turning this stress-management gene off, but there wasn’t any direct evidence in children. That’s what Pollak was determined to find.
So Pollak’s staff recruited those kids and their parents and walked the kids from the lab to a local hospital to get their blood drawn. When they checked each kid’s DNA, they saw that, in the children with a history of abuse, NR3C1 was methylated, just as it had been in the rats—in fact, at the very same sites. That, Pollak thought, was remarkable. “It gives us a real window into understanding why people that are abused as children sort of have these lifelong problems.”
NR3C1 codes for a receptor that senses a hormone called cortisol. “Cortisol is something that we produce in an emergency,” Pollak explains. That’s because it prepares you to respond to a threat: when cortisol from the adrenal gland is sent flowing into the bloodstream, it ramps up blood sugar for a quick burst of energy, dials down energy-draining processes like digestion, growth, and immune function, and can reduce bleeding and inflammation if you’re injured. Gunnar points out that, for children in abusive homes, who are in threatening situations every day, having more cortisol floating around isn’t necessarily bad—at first. “You may need to remain vigilant more often. You may need to flip into vigilant state more easily. That’s keeping you alive under harsh conditions, but it’s also making it really hard for you to function.”
Normally, cortisol molecules dock in receptors that are coded for by NR3C1 in the brain and white blood cells, which signals the body to calm down and return to its normal operating mode, and revives the immune system. But if NR3C1 is methylated, the body won’t be able to produce enough receptors, hobbling its ability to regulate stress. The body can still produce cortisol, but without enough receptors, Pollak says, there’s nothing to reign in the heightened state. “It’s the brake that’s not working.”
When the body can’t signal itself to calm down, the short term results are kids who, Pollak says, are “on alert all the time.” They often misinterpret innocent behavior as threatening; they can be aggressive, and they struggle with change. The long-term results are the chronic psychological problems like anxiety and depression and chronic physical problems like heart disease and type II diabetes, which often surface years later in victims of childhood abuse.
some people are mean for no reason and it’s gross
What the fuck happens in League of Legends
I have fruit polos and lollypops be jealous.
omg do many people not know what fruit polos are? they are heaven
In America, we call them lifesavers. They can be chewy or hard candy.
polos aren’t chewy and they also come in mint.
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