Texas: Scientists have discovered evidence that environmental influences experienced by a father can be passed down to the next generation, "reprogramming" how genes function in offspring. The new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin, shows that environmental cues—in this case, diet—influence genes in mammals from one generation to the next, evidence that until now has been sparse. These insights, coupled with previous human epidemiological studies, suggest that paternal environmental effects may play a more important role in complex diseases such as diabetes and heart disease than previously believed.
Rando and colleagues observed that offspring of the mice fed the low-protein diet exhibited a marked increase in the genes responsible for lipid and cholesterol synthesis in comparison to offspring of the control group fed the standard diet. The study has been published this week in Cell. ANI
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