London: Scientists have discovered a potential method through which parents` experiences are passed to their offspring`s genes, revealing how epigenetic inheritance could occur. Scientists from Cambridge University have found that offspring may inherit altered traits due to their parents` past experiences. For example, historical incidents of famine have resulted in health effects on the children and grandchildren of individuals who had restricted diets, possibly because of inheritance of altered epigenetic marks. Epigenetics is a system that turns our genes on and off. The process works by chemical tags, known as epigenetic marks, attaching to DNA and telling a cell to either use or ignore a particular gene. The most common epigenetic mark is a methyl group. When these groups fasten to DNA through a process called methylation they block the attachment of proteins which normally turn the genes on.
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