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.
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.

transgenerational epigenetic inheritance
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.
False color image of two Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms; blue on a black background
Mitochondrial Stress Is Passed Between Generations
Amanda Heidt | Dec 1, 2021
Researchers identified a novel mechanism by which chemically induced stress is “remembered” by the mitochondria of worms more than 50 generations after the original trigger.
The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist Speaks Ep. 15 - The Epigenetic Origins of Allergy and Asthma
The Scientist Creative Services Team
Epigenetic marks acquired from environmental exposures throughout life influence human health and may even transcend generations.
How C. elegans Transmit Stress Signals to Offspring
Infographic: How C. elegans Transmit Stress Signals to Offspring
Amanda Heidt | Dec 1, 2021
Neurons stressed with chemicals produce Wnt, which in turn triggers changes in the germline.
A Black woman stands in profile with her head turned towards the camera, smiling
Bianca Jones Marlin Traces How Sensory Inputs Shape the Brain
Annie Melchor | Oct 1, 2021
The Columbia University neuroscientist researches the biology behind some of our most human experiences, including building family relationships. 
Oded Rechavi Studies the RNA Nematodes Pass to Their Offspring
Emily Makowski | Jan 13, 2020
The Tel Aviv University researcher is interested in how the macromolecules affect the health and behavior of successive generations of worms.
How Worms Avoid Eating Bad Bacteria and Warn Their Offspring Too
Jef Akst | Dec 12, 2019
A small RNA in Pseudomonas triggers an avoidance response in C. elegans that can be passed on to the next generation, according to research presented at this week’s meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology.
c elegans transgenerational epigenetic inheritance behavior neuron genetics
Worm Parents Pass on Behaviors Epigenetically to Offspring
Katarina Zimmer | Jun 7, 2019
Two research groups demonstrate that in Caenorhabditis elegans, behavioral traits can be passed down through the germline to future generations, even though they aren’t hard-wired.
sperm epigenetics cancer risk heritability histones
Mice Inherit Cancer Susceptibility Via Epigenetic Changes in Sperm
Emma Yasinski | Apr 19, 2019
Mouse fathers whose sperm lacks the gene Kdm6a pass down altered methylation patterns to male offspring, along with a better chance of developing tumors and dying.
Could Grandpa’s Early Diet Affect Your Health?
Shawna Williams | Apr 1, 2019
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
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.
Effects of Antidepressants Span Three Generations in Fish
Diana Kwon | Dec 10, 2018
Fluoxetine dampened stress responses in zebrafish embryos exposed to the drug—and their descendants.
Infographic: Exercise’s Effects on the Brain
Ashley Yeager | Nov 1, 2018
Identifying the molecular interactions that occur all over the body during exercise could reveal how it affects learning and memory.
How Exercise Reprograms the Brain
Ashley Yeager | Nov 1, 2018
As researchers unravel the molecular machinery that links exercise and cognition, working out is emerging as a promising neurotherapy.
Nicotine’s Effects Passed On Through Generations of Mice
Kerry Grens | Oct 16, 2018
Male rodents exposed to nicotine had changes in sperm genome methylation and produced pups and grandpups with abnormal behavior.
Another Bird Telomere Study, Different Results
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 21, 2018
Two studies examining the effects of parents’ ages on their offsprings’ telomere lengths come to opposite conclusions.  
Birds With Older Fathers Have Shorter Telomeres, Lifespans
Anna Azvolinsky | Mar 14, 2018
The findings contradict what has been observed in humans.  
Study Finds Epigenetic Differences Between Hatchery-Raised and Wild-Born Salmon
Shawna Williams | Mar 1, 2018
The variation may help explain why stocked salmon don’t fare as well in the ocean.
Transgenerational Trauma Passed Down from WWII Evacuees
Jef Akst | Nov 29, 2017
The daughters of Finnish women separated from their parents as children during World War II have higher rates of psychiatric hospitalization than those born to women who had not been evacuated.