Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Chronic stress causing genetic changes


Chronic stress in animals causes lower quality of animal products which means larger quantity having to be discarded. In this article, it mentions researchers from Sweden and Brazil being looking for signs of how chronic stress can affect genes of red blood cells. In the study, one group of male chickens were raised in a normal commercial environment while the other group was exposed to factors that are known to induce stress. After this they took blood samples and the analyzed the methylation of red blood cells. The way the methyl groups had bound to the DNA was different in the control and stressed. In my opinion I believe stress can physically change the body of any animal, so for scientist to be able to isolate and find the change is interesting. This would be useful to be able to keep track of stress of animals in order for farmers to get quality products. I think this study was helpful because it could reduce the use of antibiotics in meats in the future. If farmers are able to give animals non-stressed lives or be able to test the blood and find out which are the stressed ones, it might help the farmers greatly.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a very interesting article... I never would have thought that stress would cause such issues in animals. I agree with you when you said that hopefully scientists can use this study to monitor the stress in animals so that farmers get better products. I also wonder if there is a way to genetically alter the animal so that the stress does not affect them? An easier way to fix the problem would be to give the animal a less stressful life, but I'm sure if its possible, someone will find a way to alter the way the methyl groups bind to the DNA in animals. After reading this, I also wondered if this chronic stress could also affect human genetics? It would be interesting to see if scientists could test human blood cells for this, just like they did in animals, since a majority of the world is living in chronic stress conditions. I wonder how this stress is changing our DNA? Overall, really great article!