Talk:Neurogenetics

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WikiProject Neuroscience (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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WikiProject Genetics (Rated C-class, High-importance)
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Non-peer review[edit]

Hey guys, great job so far--you have made a lot of progress on a stub. Here are just a few suggestions:

  • In the introduction, there is no need to explain what a phenotype is. In addition, I know you are trying to set up your article by providing a summary of the article in the intro, but it comes off as sort of redundant. Just include a brief definition and any background info and then move on to the sub-sections.
  • Under the heading "Gene sequencing" Is that table an original table? Also, you should have some reference to where the information came from.
  • Under methods of research: no need to explain what a mutation is. Maybe jump straight to your sub-sections


Good luck! Stempera (talk) 05:08, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

- The table is actually an original but I have gone back an added sources to the table. As far as the introduction goes I think I can speak for the group in saying that I'd be cautious in changing anything since it was written by an expert of the neurogenetics field. He regularly checks the article and would probably protest changes we've made to his words. We'll also take a look at the redundancy of mutation information in the methods of research and fix that. Thanks for your input. Wesmather (talk) 04:28, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Hi, you greatly expanded this stub and although I appreciate your work, I think there are a few problems with the new article. First of all, you seem to confound "neurogenetics" with "behavior genetics". Alcoholism and such is not generally thought of as being studied by neurogenetics, but behavior genetics or psychiatric genetics. Also, the view of research methods is very skewed: there's a lot more than just QTL studies. And, of course, the field is much older than just two decades. The Journal of Neurogenetics was established in the 80s and establishment of a specialist journal generally does not mean that a new field is being founded, but, rather, than a field is maturing (meaning that it already has been in existence for a while). The current article is a good start, but needs a lot of work, because right now it looks more like an essay/school assignment than an encyclopedic article. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 09:00, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Some more: people were already teasing apart the effects of heredity and environment over 80 years ago. You really don't need KO mice and such for that. Again: the article is way too much centered towards behavior genetics and ignores older results, methods, etc. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 18:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  • And another tip: at the moment, this article is way too wordy. There really is no reason to explain in-depth what mutations are and what effects they can have, that is all explained at length in other articles that you can wikilink. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 18:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

--Thank you Guillaume2303 for your valuable input with our article. As you mentioned the article appears to be in need of some revisions which we expected in that, as you might have also noticed on my user page, this is indeed a school project held in conjuncture with a neuroscience class at Boston College. Through suggestions like yours we hope to improve the neurogenetics article to a full fledged encyclopedic article. With regard to your specific edits we'll make a distinction between neurogenetics and behavioral or psychiatric genetics. Also an expansion on the methods section is in the works. As for your side notes the history can be expounded upon as well so as to create a more well-rounded chronological view of neurogenetics. Again thank you for your input. Wesmather (talk) 18:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

I thought this article was highly informative and interesting. It does seem like a broad subject to tackle and I think one of the problems is that it is not clear how some of the information is specific to this topic. For example, the first three paragraphs about QTL seem to apply to genetics in general and since there is already an entire wikipedia page about QTL I’m not sure of the purpose of this whole section. An overall focus on what is distinct about the field of neurogenetics would be helpful.

It would also be helpful to provide references more frequently. In the introduction through first three paragraphs of the first section, only one reference is given. I’m not sure if it’s all from the same source and that’s why it is not given until so late but I think it would be helpful to put references more often regardless, particularly at least at the end of the introduction.

The links between genetics and personality/behavior in the research section are very interesting, though I don’t know much about the differentiation between neurogenetics and behavior genetics like the other reviewer. In general, the article was cohesive and had a nice flow which made it easy to read. It didn’t feel like disjointed information from different sources thrown together. Great start so far and a lot of interesting information!

Horowitr (talk) 04:20, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

- Your input on our article is appreciated and most of what you've recommended we have also noticed needs editing. The QTL section is slated to be reduced which should also address the problem that all of that information comes from one source. We have also started to make a distinction between behavioral and neurogenetics. Wesmather (talk) 19:07, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review (2)[edit]

Hi Guys, Overall I thought this was a great article. It is well written and flows well, and is very informative. I just have a few little suggestions. First, in the last sentence under behavior and personality it should say "vary" not "very". I would also try to break that same sentence down into two separate ones, as it seems to run on a bit. In the middle of cross species gene conversion it should say "individual's" not "individuals" and "determine" should be "determined". In the same paragraph "many of these same genes" doesn't need a comma after genes. Under Impulse control, the first sentence is a fragment and needs to be edited. In the same paragraph "human" needs to be "humans". The hyperlink for synaptic plasticity needs to be changed as it currently is linked with "synaptic plasticitywill". Sorry to be nit picky but I know you get points off for grammatical errors so I figured I would point out a few. I would strongly recommend thoroughly proofreading the article to catch any others. I felt like all of the information was well explained, but I also feel like your article could benefit from having a future directions section detailing where this field is headed in the near future and perhaps discussing some techniques that may still be under development.


Barnarev (talk) 22:37, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

- We have taken all that you've said into account and appreciate the time you took to point out those grammatical and mechanical errors. As for your last suggestion for future developments this will probably be incorporated into the current research section. Wesmather (talk) 19:10, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review (4)[edit]

Hey guys. Looked over your article, read it through and I'm impressed by the amount of information you were able to compile for this subject. The only problems I've noticed is that there is occasionally a tendency to overwrite instead of wikilink specific articles (as mentioned by previous reviewers upon reading their comments). I like the logical progression and formatting but there is a tendency to use biased language (ex. "making volunteers absolutely vital" could probably be rephrased as "making volunteers a critical component to advancing research." - Sentences following that one would work better if they could be streamlined). Also for the current research portion the introduction is a bit unclear "the species wide genome project" in Behavior and Personality should be rewritten as "an species wide genome projects have made it posible to map out the entire genome of an individual." If you want to make the statement more general, you should also unlink the Human Genome Project wikilink. So if you read it through and make the article a bit more neutral, you'll have a fantastic entry.

Smaild2011 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 05:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC).

- We have had problems with over writing and are currently working to simplify sections through the use of wikilinks like you've recommended. Also your advice on making our article more neutral and encyclopedic is spot on and we're currently working on fixing that. Thanks for the suggestions. Wesmather (talk) 19:16, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review (5)[edit]

I really enjoyed reading your article. It was really cohesive and well written. There are just a few little mistakes that I found. In the intro, the sentence beginning with “As the name implies…” needs to be tweaked just a tad. The word on should be added after particular, in added after code, and in should be written after affects. Besides that there is nothing else I would change in the introduction. In the current research section under behavior and personality, the third sentence should be reworded because there seems to be a few mistakes. It seems like you meant to write advances and not advancing. The last sentence in this section should also be broken down to individual sentences or use semicolons. It’s kind of hard to follow the individual points made otherwise.

The beginning of the third sentence in the cross species gene conservation should be switched to the past tense in order to make in coherent. This same mistakes pops up in sixth sentence, where the second determine should be changed to determined. The reference to the World Health Organization in the aggression and serotonin section should be linked if there is a corresponding Wikipedia article. Overall this is a very good article. Kiki522 (talk) 18:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

-We have addressed all your concerns and made the appropriate changes. A lot of our sections are currently being reduced so some of the changes were unnecessary since whole chunks have been removed. Regardless, we appreciate your help with our article. Wesmather (talk) 19:20, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review (6)[edit]

Great article! You have clearly thoroughly researched your topic to compile the information you have here. The current research section was very informative. However, there are some points throughout the article where you might want to omit information or reword it to make it more concise. For example, the section on aggression and serotonin under the Current Research subtopic is a bit wordy. Also, that first sentence of that paragraph is a little awkward: "In addition to work being done on general impulsivity control, which could lead to possible treatments for conditions like ADHD, there is also work being done on how an individuals genes can cause varying levels of aggression and aggression control." Since you mention impulse control and ADHD in an early paragraph, I would delete that part of the sentence so it only focuses on aggression. For example, you could reword it to be, "Research is also being conducted to determine the affect of individual genes on varying levels of aggression and aggression control". Nice job! Kpangakis (talk) 19:41, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

- We agree with the consensus to shorten our sections into more concise readings, which editing is currently underway to fix. Also thank you for your suggestions in how to reword portions. I can't say your exact phrasing will be used after we reduce the article but the idea behind your recommendations are very helpful. Wesmather (talk) 19:24, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

This is a really good article that flows nicely. You did a great job simplifying some of the ideas to make them readable to a large audience that doesn't have a vast knowledge of neuroscience. I did have a few comments thought that I feel could make your article even better.

In the QTL section, you say "as opposed to the qualitative results of alternative methods," and then go in to some of the alternative methods later. This is just my opinion, but I think it would be clearer if you said "alternative methods such as..."

There's no history section. I don't know much about the history of neurogenetics, but I feel like even a small history section would make it seem a little more relevant.

In the fourth line of the aggression and serotonin section, i think it should be if.

In the sixth line of the aggression and serotonin section, i think studies should be studied.

In the first line of the alcohol dependency section, i think have should be has.

The neurological disorders section is a little unorganized. It might be better if you broke it up into subsections, even if they're brief.

The gene sequencing section is exactly what I was looking for the entire time i was reading your article. It feels kind of out of place at the end. You might want to bring it up to a more prominent part of your article.

Overall, it was a very clear and interesting article. You just might want to break up some of the longer sections. rscully22 (talk) 12:10, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

- Thank you for your array of suggestions. Since your critique we've added a history section that is still under work to be expanded on. Also the section on genetic linkage between diseases and specific gene locals has been moved to a more prominent location. That section, however, will probably remain as one rather than broken down into small sections for we think taken as a whole they better represent the current research underway in the field. All of your grammatical errors you've pointed out have also been properly addressed. Wesmather (talk) 19:28, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Hey guys, I thought it was a really good and detailed article and I'll try to not be too repetitive. I feel like there was some crossover between the two main sections and maybe try to clarify more with the research headings. I understand how you guys broke it up though, but just a thought to maybe change it around. I also thought the Aggression and Serotonin section was very long and would read better and look better if it were broken up a little. Finally, I thought a small section on medical implications could be interesting. I know there is medically relevant information in the article and it could be pulled out into its own section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sahaancs (talkcontribs) 00:16, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

-I think for the most part your suggestions were listened to in one form or another. The article has been reduced and headings reassigned. As far as a medical implications sections goes though I don't think one can actually be created. While there is currently much research into genetic linkage with neurological diseases how exactly this translates into a cure is not currently within grasp. However, I do think this would be a nice addition to the current the disease section possibly what researches hope to eventually be able to do. Anyway thanks for the input. Wesmather (talk) 04:36, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review 9[edit]

I will try not to be repetative in my suggestions. First of all, great start to the article. You've definitely researched the information thoroughly. I think a strength of the article is its diversity in topics. In terms of suggestions though, I think there is some overlap in information. Towards the end, there are some really large paragraphs, which would be easier to read if broken down. Additionally, I would look to be as concise as possible throughout the article. There are some unnecessary sentences and thoughts that don't contribute to the "meat" of the article. Rather than explain every idea, wikilink words to other pages. Finally, you reference a lot of experiments and research in the article. To help combat concerns like the first comment, I would directly state which experiments hypotheses are coming from. It will allow the reader to follow up on ideas and understand what research you are basing your information off of. Other than that, great job! Fahertch (talk) 02:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

- You've echoed some of the concerns made earlier and I think the issues have all been mostly addressed. The sections have been reduced through the use of wikilinks. As far as specifically stating what experiment the data comes from that proves a little more difficult. The research articles we've cited are primarily review articles meaning they've summarized numerous experiments themselves thus to discern the exact experiments the review articles used would be quit a arduous task. Regardless, thanks for your input. Wesmather (talk) 04:33, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

Hello! This is a great article that is very informative and very detailed. One comment I have is that each subsection is very rich in content that it can be broken down into more subsections. The article was interesting to read but it was overwhelming at times because there was so much per subsection. I would suggest placing more subsections to make reading the article easier as well as make it more convienent for people to find the certain pieces of information they want. In addition, the assignment called for a section on future research. I suggest including something about future reseach that involves neurogenetics. I have to say that this article was very well researched. My topic was neuromorphology, which is very broad, so my group ran into a lot of obstables with defining the topic and picking what to include in the artice. Great job! SKChan903 (talk) 02:48, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

- You raise a reoccurring concern with the articles expanse of information, and hopefully we've reduced those sections adequately enough to avoid needing subsections. We have added a current research section which does in fact look to the future of research. Thanks for your suggestions. Wesmather (talk) 04:36, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Another review[edit]

This is in addition to the comments that I posted above. First of all, I appreciate all of the hard work that has gone into this article. However.... There are many parts that simply don't belong here. For example, the detailed section on QTL. There is already an article on QTL methods (Quantitative trait locus) here on WP and it indeed belongs in its own article, not here, because these methods are not specific to neurogenetics at all (most of them were developed for traits of agricultural interest). The same goes for LOD scores (a very imprecise section at that). In addition, some of the info here is wrong. QTL methods are not used to determine "the amount of normal genetic variation" (that's done using quantitative-genetic variance partitioning methods), for example. Nobody is inserting any genes into any strains either (see our article on recombinant inbred strains). The section about animal behavior is absolutely inadequate. How "classical conditioning" can identify "disease-linked genes" is beyond me and we animal behavior geneticists do many more things than just classical conditioning... You should also formulate more precisely. "Many research facilities, in addition to animal research, actively seek out volunteers" suggests that any facility doing human research does this in addition to doing animal research, which in reality is the exception rather than the rule (and having said this, your grammar is not always correct either).

You should also look better at what is already present on WP and "wikilink" to that. The articles on MAO-A and Brunner syndrome, for example. And you got the order of events wrong: first Han Brunner found a Dutch family with MAO-A deficiency, then Isabelle Seif and collaborators found a similar mouse (and that was not a "regular" KO mouse, look up the article - which is another problem: you don't nearly cite enough sources...)

The section on genes that have been identified is a bit silly. There are hundreds of genes known, why select these ones? And I guess these are human genes, but that is stated nowhere.

The article gives the impression that almost all work in neurogenetics has been done with humans and mice. That is completely wrong. Most work has, in fact, been done with fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and worms (Caenorhabditis elegans).

Oh, and lest I forget, my thesis supervisor already did neurogenetic research in the 60s and he was far from the first...

So, in short, I'm afraid that this article is deficient in many ways and that, in fact, the stub that it was before you guys started editing it was way better than this. I'm sorry to be so negative... --Guillaume2303 (talk) 21:57, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Hi Kelsey,Alex and Wesley. After looking into Guillaume2303's concerns I have to say that I do agree with many of them. Many of the problems are indeed factual as he mentions but a good bit of it is stylistic as well. Several of his comments at different points in time revolve around including the earlier history of neurogenetics and behavioral genetics. You have the good (and bad I suppose!) fortune of receiving help from an expert in the field, one who either directly or indirectly was involved in neurogenetics even before you say that the field existed, so obviously that can be a sore point (and one that needs clarification and expansion for a proper WP article).
I think another issue that will have to be addressed going forward (not necessarily by you) is the distinction between neurogenetics and behavioral genetics. There is obviously much overlap between the fields as they exist today, but there may be some areas of separation as recognized by the current research. NeuroJoe (talk) 03:12, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I've been thinking a bit about the distinction between behavior genetics and neurogenetics. After all, everything that has to do with the brain has implications for behavior... I guess it is kind of analogous to neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience. Someone studying, e.g. the electrophysiological properties of hippocampal slices would not be seen as a behavioral neuroscientist, but someone studying electrophysiological properties of the hippocampus in freely moving animals would. With BG and NG it's a bit the other way around. Many (especially human) behavior geneticists don't look at the brain at all. And some neurogeneticists nowadays don't look at behavior. The latter was more rare in the early days: John Fuller bidirectionally selected mice for brain weight and once he had obtained two different lines, he studied their behavior. The Wimers originally looked mostly at granule cell numbers in the hippocampus, but then also started looking at behavior. As for the timeline, you're right: I started doing behavior genetics as an undergrad in 1975 and neurogenetics as a postdoc in 1984 (in my mind, hardly a few months ago...:-). In both cases I was trained by people who had been doing this already for a while and they certainly were not the first ones either! I'm not sure, but I think that my thesis supervisor (Hans van Abeelen) was one of the first to study the effects of intrahippocampal injections of drugs in different inbred strains. As with many things in science, though, I'm afraid there are no good sources for this. I am planning to edit a series of articles in Genes, Brain and Behavior on the founders of these fields (if possible by people who knew them and perhaps worked with them) and once these come out, we would have good sources to use for WP articles on these people and on the histories of BG and NG! --Guillaume2303 (talk) 08:36, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

-Hello Guillaume2303, I am also working with Wesmather on this article. Thank you for pointing out the mistakes in the QTL section. The source that I was using did not make a clear distinction in its description of QTL mapping and the use of recombinant strains, and this overlap made it into this article, leading to some misinformation. I will make every effort to clean up this confusion right away. Thank you again for your diligence. KMaher123 (talk) 18:19, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Science News resource[edit]

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/335629/title/Brain_gene_activity_changes_through_life "Brain gene activity changes through life; Studies track biochemical patterns from just after conception to old age" by Laura Sanders November 19th, 2011; Vol.180 #11 (p. 5) 97.87.29.188 (talk) 22:37, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

Here is an excerpt ...

In the studies, published in the Oct. 27 Nature, researchers focused not on DNA — virtually every cell’s raw genetic material is identical — but on when, where and for how long each gene is turned on over the course of a person’s life. To do this, the researchers measured levels of mRNA, a molecule whose appearance marks one of the first steps in executing the orders contained in a gene, in postmortem samples of donated brains that ranged in age from weeks after conception to old age.

Also include was Back Story – A brain is a brain is a brain "The uniformity of gene activity in the brain is striking when seen in the context of overall human genetic diversity."

See Human genetic variation, Regulation of gene expression, 99.190.86.16 (talk) 07:04, 26 November 2011 (UTC)


--Thank you for bringing this source to our attention. This truly is a fascinating article on some of the more current research going on in the neurogenetics field, and we will do our best to incorporate this into the article. KMaher123 (talk) 05:02, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Tag Removal[edit]

As of now I propose the tags flagging the article for recentism and encyclopedic style be removed for they have been properly addressed through the addition of a history section, and the article was overhauled to remove bias and personal reflection. If no objections are raised in the next few days I'll proceed with removing them.Wesmather (talk) 05:07, 7 December 2011 (UTC)