Excerpt: “Even the most health-conscious eaters find themselves indulging in junk foods from time to time. New research raises the striking possibility that even small amounts of these occasional indulgences may produce significant changes in gene expression that could negatively impact physiology and health.”
My comment: For more detailed representations of how dietary influences cause changes in gene expression and behavior see: Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled Adaptive Evolution and Nutrient-dependent / Pheromone-controlled thermodynamics and thermoregulation. In the context of my most recently published work (Kohl, 2012), these pre-publication works link the molecular mechanisms responsible for the dietary influences in worms to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man (sans mutations theory).
I prefer the honeybee model organism, which establishes the link from microbes to man. However, there are two advantages of the C. elegans model organism.
1) We already know differences in the behavior of nematodes are determined by nutrient-dependent rewiring of their primitive nervous system (Bumbarger, Riebesell, Rödelsperger, & Sommer, 2013). In my model this is what’s called neurogenic niche construction, which follows the requirements for ecological and social niche construction in adaptive evolution.
2) We also know that sperm-egg species incompatibilities in nematodes are associated with cysteine-to-alanine substitutions (Wilson et al., 2011). In my model these nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions alter pheromone production, which controls reproduction. Pheromone-controlled reproduction is also required for nutrient-dependent species divergence.