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Constant Parental Stress Leads To Deliberate Change In Offspring Epigenetics

Discussion in 'Scientific Studies' started by haidut, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

    Mar 18, 2013
    USA / Europe
    The ability of life events to influence non-genetic biomarkers and the hereditability of such biomarkers is a controversial topic these days, and it slowly disintegrates the centuries-old genetic dogma. This study was the first one that looked at constant stress on the parents and how that influenced development in subsequent generations. Chronic stress is not only detrimental to us but also to 3 generations down the line from us. So, as Ray says, try to "keep fun up and stress down".

    Local adaptation in transgenerational responses to predators | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences
    First evidence that constant stress causes organisms to program changes in offspring

    "...Researchers have known for decades that the environmental stress experienced by one generation induces changes in behavior, shape, biochemical properties and rates of development of their offspring. But the precise ecological conditions that produced these responses were not known. Researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington have now provided the first evidence that stable environments like constant predator threats, not unstable conditions, generate these non-genetic "trans-generational responses" in the next generation. "These results have broad implications for understanding responses to climate change, the spread of invasive species, changes in the availability of food sources or other threats, " said Matthew Walsh, UTA assistant biology professor and leader of the study. "In times of rapid change, organisms like mammals with a long reproductive cycle would perceive the ecological conditions as unstable and not evolve this "transgenerational response", which may affect their long-term survival," he said. "Organisms that mature in days like water fleas would not perceive any changes and could continue to do so, and perhaps progressively improve their fitness."