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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Nurture or Nature?

Nurture or Nature?

Geneticist Moshe Szyf (credit: McGill University)

There have been long-running and vigorous debates as to which influence, nurture or nature, is more important in human development. The issue boils down to what role does your DNA or your surroundings have on psychology and culture.

Geneticist and professor of pharmacology Moshe Szyf has been investigating behavioral epigenetics, the study of how behaviors and environment can cause changes in the way that your genes work. He and his lab at McGill University in Canada have shown that early influences in a baby's environment play a fundamental role in influencing DNA to modify itself to the surroundings. In his studies, Szyf uses experimental genetics to answer how 'nurture shapes nature' and where both are important.

He offers insightful explanations to a TED conference audience. WHB

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