Epigenetic “Memory” Gene Process Of Worms, Could Be Similar In Humans

Epigenetic “Memory” Gene Process Of Worms, Could Be Similar In Humans

Epigenetics is the study of biological mechanisms that switch inherited genes on and off. The theory is that our own personal life experiences, or for that matter, those of our parents and our parent’s parents, are passed onto subsequent generations. Studies done on survivors from traumatic events, particularly events as catastrophic as ones such as the Holocaust have shown that exposure to stress have a follow-on effect on subsequent generations1. That is, the memory of these events is lived on through our progeny. Their DNA is impacted by the trauma as much as if they’d experienced it themselves.

But the question that has confounded scientists is how are these genetic “memories” passed on?

What On Earth Are We To Do About Lifestyle Diseases?

What On Earth Are We To Do About Lifestyle Diseases?

Yes you’ve heard of them before, the diseases we attribute, without trying to sound pithy, to our lifestyle. Obesity. Heart disease. Diabetes. Stroke. Cancer. Chronic respiratory diseases. But they’re not called lifestyle diseases. They’re called NCDs, non-communicable diseases. Which means you can’t catch them because they’re not infectious. But they will kill you. Just as surely as Ebola will. It will just take a bit longer. 

Fat Grandpas Pass on Love of Junk Food.

Fat Grandpas Pass on Love of Junk Food.

Epigenetics is the study of how inherited genes switch themselves on and off due to internal or external environments. And it’s in this area of science that has been looking at the harmful legacy parental obesity can pass on to future generations. With over 14 million Australians now obese, it’s food for thought. Blame it on the rain… Or your Grandfather. Turns out, being fat might just be his fault. Associate Professor Catherine Suter heads up the epigenetics department at the Victor Chang Research Centre in Sydney.