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Curr Dir Psychol Sci. 2009 Jun 1;18(3):132-137.

Social regulation of human gene expression.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, UCLA School of Medicine, Cousins Center for PNI, UCLA AIDS Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute, and the HopeLab Foundation.


Relationships between genes and social behavior have historically been construed as a one-way street, with genes in control. Recent analyses have challenged this view by discovering broad alterations in the expression of human genes as a function of differing socio-environmental conditions. The emerging field of social genomics has begun to identity the types of genes subject to social regulation, the biological signaling pathways mediating those effects, and the genetic polymorphisms that moderate socio-environmental influences on human gene expression.

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