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Polygence Scholar2022
Ruo Wu's profile

Ruo Wu

Boston Latin SchoolClass of 2023Boston, MA


Hey! My name is Ruo and my Polygence project is on the Application of Epigenetics in relation to Criminal Justice and Social Science. I wanted to work on this project because I believe it helps brings us closer to the age-old question of nature versus nurture⏤ whether our behavior is a result of our genetic background or our upbringing. This, in turn, can inform us when we build preventive programs for juveniles and other at-risk youth. After my project is complete, I would like to continue my studies and my research in a university.


  • "How does the study of epigenetics help inform criminal/youth reform programs?" with mentor Samantha (Dec. 12, 2022)

Project Portfolio

How does the study of epigenetics help inform criminal/youth reform programs?

Started Sept. 10, 2022

Abstract or project description

Epigenetics, the study of changes in gene expression without changing the DNA itself, is used in the scientific field as explanations for the seemingly sudden heritable changes in an organism’s gene expression. This can be due to many factors, such as DNA methylation, non-RNA coding, histone modifications, etc. just to name a few. In animals, these changes can manifest both in behavior and in physicality. For example, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) experience higher heat tolerance due to histone modifications. Similarly enough, this can apply to humans and their behavior as well. Many people who have experienced great tragedies in history have had their gene expression shaped by inducing stress and trauma. Here we review the DNA of _______ and how epigenetics can better inform the public and improve our social reform programs.