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Epigenetics May Remember Ancestors’ Mutations
Parents’ mutations, even if they’re not inherited by offspring, could affect subsequent generations through changes to epigenetic marks, a study finds.
Epigenetics May Remember Ancestors’ Mutations
Epigenetics May Remember Ancestors’ Mutations

Parents’ mutations, even if they’re not inherited by offspring, could affect subsequent generations through changes to epigenetic marks, a study finds.

Parents’ mutations, even if they’re not inherited by offspring, could affect subsequent generations through changes to epigenetic marks, a study finds.

epigenetic
Blue 3D illustration of X-shaped chromosomes
X Chromosome Silenced in Some Cancers in Males
Natalia Mesa, PhD | Nov 11, 2022 | 3 min read
A study finds that XIST, the gene that shuts down one X chromosome in people who have two, is linked to cancer in males. 
Illustration from the epigenetics and the genome infographic
Infographic: How Epigenetic Marks Can Change the Genome
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 1, 2022 | 2 min read
Although epigenetic changes were long thought to largely act on the genome, rather than as part of it, research is now showing that these patterns can, directly or indirectly, change the genetic code.
Cellular DNA and epigenetics
Do Epigenetic Changes Influence Evolution?
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 1, 2022 | 10+ min read
Evidence is mounting that epigenetic marks on DNA can influence future generations in a variety of ways. But how such phenomena might affect large-scale evolutionary processes is hotly debated.
Illustration showing epigenetic changes
Infographic: Questions Linger About Epigenetic Inheritance
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022 | 3 min read
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.
Illustration showing two hands join, father or mother with child
Does Human Epigenetic Inheritance Deserve a Closer Look?
Catherine Offord | Apr 4, 2022 | 10+ min read
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 | 5 min read
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.
white mouse with pups
Doubts Raised Over Whether Mice Can Truly Inherit Immunity
David Adam | Jan 26, 2022 | 3 min read
An independent lab fails to replicate results suggesting mammals exposed to pathogens could pass on immunological protections through epigenetic mechanisms.
white adult mouse with 4 pups on white background
Mice that Survive Infection Pass on Stronger Immunity
David Adam | Oct 18, 2021 | 3 min read
Offspring of animals subjected to a real or simulated pathogen were more able to fend off disease, a study finds.
Two sets of identical twin children sitting
Identical Twins Carry Distinctive Epigenetic Marks: Study
Chloe Tenn | Sep 30, 2021 | 2 min read
Researchers found more than 800 sites in the genome where the twins bore the same chemical tags.
A black mouse runs on a yellow and green spinning wheel against a blue background
Exercising During Pregnancy Protects Mouse Offspring
Jack J. Lee | Aug 1, 2021 | 2 min read
Obese mice that exercised while pregnant gave birth to pups that grew up free of the metabolic issues present in the adult young of sedentary obese mothers—possibly by staving off epigenetic changes to a key metabolic gene.
diabetes complications type 2 biomarker blood test screen hydroxymethylation epigenetics cytosine
Blood-Based Epigenetic Screen Tests for Diabetes Complications
Katarina Zimmer | Oct 1, 2019 | 4 min read
Researchers could accurately detect life-threatening vascular complications in type 2 diabetes patients by analyzing hydroxymethylated cytosines in freely circulating DNA.
circadian clock microbiome hdac3 histone deacetylation acetylation epigenetics gene expression metabolism fat lipid intestine gut
Microbes Shape Circadian Rhythms in the Mouse Gut
Kerry Grens | Sep 27, 2019 | 2 min read
The diurnal cycles of the microbiome alter the activity of a protein produced by the host, and in turn guide histone acetylation, gene expression, and metabolic activity.
Unhatched Gulls Shake Their Shells to Warn Siblings of Danger
Nicoletta Lanese | Jul 23, 2019 | 2 min read
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nancy davidson fred hutch epigenetics breast cancer
Q&A: Epigenetic Therapies for Breast Cancer
Katarina Zimmer | Apr 4, 2019 | 4 min read
Breast cancer researcher and oncologist Nancy Davidson discusses what we’ve learned from the first wave of epigenetic trials for breast cancer, and what challenges lie ahead before such therapies reach the clinic.
Could Grandpa’s Early Diet Affect Your Health?
Shawna Williams | Apr 1, 2019 | 4 min read
A large study seeks to answer whether a man’s childhood diet has transgenerational repercussions.
agouti mice Epigenetic Inheritance the scientist
Classic Mechanism of Epigenetic Inheritance Is Rare, Not the Rule
Ashley Yeager | Mar 1, 2019 | 3 min read
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.
Nicotine’s Effects Passed On Through Generations of Mice
Kerry Grens | Oct 16, 2018 | 2 min read
Male rodents exposed to nicotine had changes in sperm genome methylation and produced pups and grandpups with abnormal behavior.
In Their Earliest Days, Embryos Record Their Environments
Kerry Grens | Oct 1, 2018 | 4 min read
Methylation patterns at so-called metastable epialleles in the genome stamp a memory into each of our cells.
As Bees Specialize, So Does Their DNA Packaging
Shawna Williams | Sep 11, 2018 | 3 min read
A study of chemical tags on histone proteins hints at how the same genome can yield very different animals.
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