Skip to comments.Epigenetics: The sins of the father - The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome...
Posted on 03/14/2014 1:07:40 PM PDT by neverdem
The roots of inheritance may extend beyond the genome, but the mechanisms remain a puzzle.
When Brian Dias became a father last October, he was, like any new parent, mindful of the enormous responsibility that lay before him. From that moment on, every choice he made could affect his newborn son's physical and psychological development. But, unlike most new parents, Dias was also aware of the influence of his past experiences not to mention those of his parents, his grandparents and beyond.
Where one's ancestors lived, or how much they valued education, can clearly have effects that pass down through the generations. But what about the legacy of their health: whether they smoked, endured famine or fought in a war?
As a postdoc in Kerry Ressler's laboratory at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Dias had spent much of the two years before his son's birth studying these kinds of questions in mice. Specifically, he looked at how fear associated with a particular smell affects the animals and leaves an imprint on the brains of their descendants.
Dias had been exposing male mice to acetophenone a chemical with a sweet, almond-like smell and then giving them a mild foot shock. After being exposed to this treatment five times a day for three days, the mice became reliably fearful, freezing in the presence of acetophenone even when they received no shock.
Ten days later, Dias allowed the mice to mate with unexposed females. When their young grew up, many of the animals were more sensitive to acetophenone than to other odours, and more likely to be startled by an unexpected noise during exposure to the smell. Their offspring the 'grandchildren' of the mice trained to fear the smell were also jumpier in the presence of acetophenone...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
And epigenetic stuff ‘looks’ genetic to someone only looking at 1 or 2 generations.
Like a Lysenko, for example?
Interesting to see where this leads. They already know of stuff that’s really Evil!(TM) epigenetically.
I suspect a lot of the diabesity over the past 20 or so years is a product of epigenetic alteration of our satiety and metabolism. I don’t think we woke up ~1990 and all decided to weigh 300lbs.
In my experience the poorer someone is, the more likely they are overweight.
My experience also tells me that when you subsidize anything you get more of it. As we give the poor more and more free food, they eat more, thus the dramatic rise in obesity among the poor.
Look around you. All those fat people aren’t on food stamps. Oprah isn’t on food stamps, I’m not on food stamps, the obese in my family aren’t on food stamps, etc.
I know plenty of obese black women. And while blacks are disproportionately receiving food stamps, the obesity in that community doesn’t really pick and choose that way. A good percentage of nurses in the local hospital are even bigger than I am. I’m surprised they can actually walk around and complete their shifts they’re so big. And they make way more than food stamp recipients.
Look at pics from 1990 that show ‘regular people’. Ie the middle class. People at ball games, family weddings, old news programming, etc. Obese people under ~30 were rare, regardless of food stamp use. Now look at the same venues. It’s difficult to find anyone who isn’t a bit pudgy and really easy to find obese under 30’s.
I grew up in the poorest state in the union. Lots of food stamp users and free lunch users in my school growing up. And yet, when I look at old pictures, they’re not fat either. Black girls used to be thin. Even when they were getting ‘assistance’. Even after they had babies in their teens they were still fairly thin.
I had a black roommate in college whose mom was on food stamps for a good deal of her childhood. She was thin, my roommate was thin, mom’s sister was thin, etc.
Want to see what black young people used to look like? Watch ‘Soul Train’ sometime. Even Soul Train from the 80’s.
I wish my ancestors had been more afraid of women.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
It wasn’t that much more physical in 1990. Women weren’t exactly beating the laundry on rocks down by the river in 1990.
This is potentially gonna make a lot of people's heads explode: as stressors to the mother, even before pregnancy, affect offspring; and affect male and female prenatals differently...
Or Darwin, since he whole-heartedly believed in the inheritance of acquired characters. He even believed that circumcision can be inherited.
What’s your best guess about cause?
Just one of many things we do differently than previous generations. If you have access to HS yearbooks from the 1930’s in rural America somewhere take a look at them. Notice how the HS senior boys look like men? The HS senior girls look like women? Take a look now. The boys have effete features and the square jaws are on the girls.
Yay, my favorite topic... Epigenetics! Thank You. I still contend epigenetic changes are producing a generation of psychopath offspring from their years of being institutionalized in public education.
Most black women don’t take prenatals. It’s a culture thing.
OK, I give... what’s your take on this?
Did you read the article I posted?
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