Interesting Epigenetics Discussion

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At Science League of America, Stephanie Keep’s blog, “A Wrinkle In (Change Over) Time, Part 1:

…there has recently been a bit of a wrinkle in this core tenet of evolution. It used to be that you could say with confidence that changes brought about by environmental influences over the course of an individual’s lifetime (loss of limb, build-up of muscle mass) are not heritable. But more and more examples of just that—of environmentally affected traits being passed from parent to offspring—have been recently reported in the scientific literature. Earlier this year, for example, Scientific American ran a piece by biologist Michael Skinner that described the phenomena he has studied since 2005. He recounts how mice exposed to a toxin produce male offspring with low sperm count and underdeveloped sex organs. No problem so far, the offspring were developing within the mother’s body and therefore also exposed. But Skinner’s team noted a disproportionate occurrence of these traits in the next two generations. There was no trace of the toxin in…

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Interesting post, and interesting, lively discussion.

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1 thought on “Interesting Epigenetics Discussion

  1. hmmm. I was reading recently that certain environmental toxins pregnant women are exposed to increase the risk of their children, particularly males, developing autism. I wonder if anyone has studied the children of functioning autistic adults to see if it is heritable.

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