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ERIC Number: ED515143
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Early Experiences Can Alter Gene Expression and Affect Long-Term Development. Working Paper #10
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
New scientific research shows that environmental influences can actually affect whether and how genes are expressed. Thus, the old ideas that genes are "set in stone" or that they alone determine development have been disproven. In fact, scientists have discovered that early experiences can determine how genes are turned on and off and even whether some are expressed at all. Therefore, the experiences children have early in life--and the environments in which they have them--shape their developing brain architecture and strongly affect whether they grow up to be healthy, productive members of society. This report summarizes in clear language why this growing scientific evidence supports the need for society to re-examine the way it thinks about the circumstances and experiences to which young children are exposed. [This report was sponsored by The Norlien Foundation.]
National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. Available from: Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. 50 Church Street 4th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-496-0578; Fax: 617-496-1229; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Birth to Five Policy Alliance; Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Authoring Institution: National Scientific Council on the Developing Child