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Crop Biotech Update

Social Status Changes Gene Expression in Monkeys

April 20, 2012

Researchers at University of Chicago report that social stress affects not just the health of humans and primates but also the immune system of female rhesus macaques at the genetic level. According to the principal author of the report, Jenny Tung, social stress seemed to have a relatively strong and pervasive effect on regulation of the genome. They found variations in the expression of about 1,000 genes in the macaque's white blood cells, which function for immunity. The team was able to predict the social ranking of the macaque with 89 percent accuracy based on their genes. When the social rank of the macaque is changed, the gene expression changed as well. The results of the study could help scientists in studying how humans could manage social stress.

Read the research paper at http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/04/03/1202734109.