Illustration of a baby and mom looking at a family photo
Infographic: Questions Linger About Epigenetic Inheritance
Some studies suggest that associations between the health of children and the experiences of their parents or grandparents may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, but confounding factors challenge this interpretation.
ABOVE: © NANOCLUSTERING.COM
Infographic: Questions Linger About Epigenetic Inheritance
Infographic: Questions Linger About Epigenetic Inheritance

Some studies suggest that associations between the health of children and the experiences of their parents or grandparents may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, but confounding factors challenge this interpretation.

Some studies suggest that associations between the health of children and the experiences of their parents or grandparents may be due to epigenetic mechanisms, but confounding factors challenge this interpretation.

ABOVE: © NANOCLUSTERING.COM

DNA methylation

Illustration showing two hands join, father or mother with child
Does Human Epigenetic Inheritance Deserve a Closer Look?
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022
The concept of epigenetic inheritance has long been controversial. Some researchers hope that new data on cross-generational effects of environmental exposures will help settle the debate.
health care provider standing in front of gynecology stirrups holding swabs for Pap smear
DNA Methylation Could Predict Ovarian, Breast Cancers
Anna Napolitano | Feb 11, 2022
A pair of new studies finds that analyzing material from a Pap smear can reveal tumor risk in distant parts of the body, potentially allowing early interventions.
The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist Speaks Ep. 15 - The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Feb 26, 2021
Epigenetic marks acquired from environmental exposures throughout life influence human health and may even transcend generations.
Four pregnant women sitting in chairs
Epigenetic Changes to Placenta Correlate with Maternal Depression
Chloe Tenn | Feb 1, 2022
An epigenome-wide association study found more than a dozen methylation changes in placental DNA that correlated with expectant mothers’ self-reports of depression and stress during their pregnancy.
A view of the nucleus of a cell with DNA in blue, RNA in pink, and associated proteins in yellow and purple
DNA Methylation Influences Replication and Genome Organization
Abby Olena | Sep 22, 2021
A study links the loss of DNA methylation across the genome—as is common in cancer—to the disruption of the 3-D compartments that organize the genome and to the timing of DNA replication.
Long-Lived Trees’ Epigenetic Mutations Serve as a Molecular Clock
Jef Akst | Mar 1, 2021
Cells found in different branches of a tree have different patterns of DNA methylation, changes in which accumulate over time.
Genetic Reprogramming Restores Vision in Mice: Study
Max Kozlov | Dec 6, 2020
Researchers repaired what is otherwise irreversible damage in the animals’ ocular neurons, by activating transcription factors ordinarily used to generate induced pluripotent stem cells.
a mouse on an exercise wheel
Early Epigenetic Changes Regulate Voluntary Exercise in Mice: Study
Emma Yasinski | Dec 7, 2019
Altering DNA methylation in a particular area of the hypothalamus halved the animals’ voluntary exercise as adults.
agouti mice Epigenetic Inheritance the scientist
Classic Mechanism of Epigenetic Inheritance Is Rare, Not the Rule
Ashley Yeager | Mar 1, 2019
A study suggests that the direct transfer of DNA methylation marks from one generation to the next is much less common than scientists previously thought.
Ribosomal DNA Can Predict an Animal’s Age
Abby Olena | Feb 14, 2019
A clock constructed of rDNA methylation sites can estimate both chronological and biological age across species.
Exome Sequencing Helps Crack Rare Disease Diagnosis
Amanda B. Keener | May 1, 2018
Clinical analyses of patients’ gene sequences are helping to provide answers where none were available before.
New Techniques Detail Embryos’ First Hours and Days
Jef Akst | Dec 1, 2017
New technologies reveal the dynamic changes in mouse and human embryos during the first week after fertilization.
Infographic: How Embryos Take Control of Their Own Development
Jef Akst | Nov 30, 2017
The switch from maternal factors involves dynamic reprogramming of the zygotic genome.
The Role of DNA Base Modifications
Skirmantas Kriaucionis | Sep 1, 2017
Researchers are just beginning to scratch the surface of how several newly recognized epigenetic changes function in the genome.
Infographic: The Various Forms of Methylated DNA
Skirmantas Kriaucionis | Aug 31, 2017
To expand the basic nucleotide alphabet, many species modify their DNA with epigenetic marks.
Plants’ Epigenetic Secrets
Jef Akst | Feb 1, 2017
Unlike animals, plants stably pass on their DNA methylomes from one generation to the next. The resulting gene silencing likely hides an abundance of phenotypic variation.
Infographic: Plant Methylation Basics
Jef Akst | Jan 31, 2017
Multiple molecular mechanisms keep plant DNA methylation in order.
Exploring the Epigenetics of Ethnicity
Anna Azvolinsky | Jan 10, 2017
Researchers attempt to estimate how much of the human genome’s methylation patterns can be attributed to genetic ancestry.
Characterizing the Imprintome
Amber Dance | Jan 1, 2017
Three techniques for identifying the collection of maternal and paternal genes silenced in offspring