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Epigenetic ‘Memories’ That Could Pass On A Father’s Life Experiences Seen In Worm Sperm




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The tiny worm C. elegans transmits information from his life into his sperm Zeynep F. Altun

We like to think that what we do in our daily life affects only ourselves and perhaps some people around us, but the increasingly active field of scientific investigation called epigenetics ] suggests that the life experiences such as what we eat and the environments we display can affect the health and development of our children and of generations beyond them.

Studies of men and animals have suggested that a father's experiences can be transmitted through the generations but the mechanism for this epigenic inheritance was not entirely clear

New research published Wednesday at & nbsp; N ature Communications & nbsp; & nbsp; details like & nbsp; Susan Strome's laboratory at UC Santa Cruz observed the transmission of epigenetic markers in the small worm's spermatozoa Caenorhabditis elegans. & Nbsp;

Researchers have observed that epigenetic information has been transferred through the histone proteins in the sperm that pack DNA into the chromosomes. Previously it was thought that sperm did not retain this histone packaging.

"Moreover, where the chromosomes conserve the packaging of the histone of the DNA is in important areas from the development point of view, then these discoveries have increased the awareness of the possibility that the sperm can transmit important epigenetic information to the embryos, "Strome said. & nbsp; "These results show that the packaging of DNA in the sperm is important, because the offspring that did not inherit the normal epigenetic signs of the sperm were sterile and sufficient for normal germline development. [19659013InotherfreelectionstudytomechannelinformationpluggedonlywissyrevolutionsonvilupponormalimaginWehopetofindoutwhichcellstotestandinvestigatethisquestionStromelabplanstoconductmoreexperimentswithwormsthathavebeengiventoalcoholorstarvationbeforereproducing

" We want to know which cells they experience environmental factors, as they transmit this information to germ cells, such as changes in germ cells and how this affects the offspring, "Strome explained.

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The tiny nematode C. elegans passes information from his in his sperm Zeynep F. Altun

We like to think that what we do in our daily life affects only ourselves and perhaps some people around us, but the increasingly active field of scientific investigation called epigenetics suggests that life experiences such as what we eat and the environments we display can affect the health and development of our children and of generations beyond them.

Studies of humans and animals have suggested that the parent experiences can be transmitted through the generations, but the mechanism for this epigenic inheritance has not been fully understood.

New research published Wednesday at Nature Communications Details on how Susan Strome's laboratory at UC Santa Cruz observed the transmission of epigenetic markers in the sperm of the small nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

The researchers observed that epigenetic information was transferred through the histone proteins in the sperm that package the DNA in the chromosomes. Previously it was thought that sperm did not retain this histone packaging.

"Furthermore, where the chromosomes conserve the histone packaging of DNA is in important areas from the development point of view, so those results have increased awareness of the possibility that the sperm can transmit important epigenetic information to embryos" Disse Strome. "These results show that the packaging of DNA in the sperm is important, because the offspring that did not inherit the normal epigenetic signs of the sperm were sterile, and it is sufficient for the normal development of the germline."

In other words, the study shows that epigenetic information in sperm plays a role in normal development, but there is still a gap in understanding how life experiences that encode information can affect descendants.

To try and investigate this question The Strome laboratory plans to conduct further experiments with worms that have been given to alcohol or starving before they reproduce.

" We want to know which cells experience environmental factors, how they transmit this information to germ cells, what changes in germ cells and how this affects the offspring," Strome explained


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