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Epigenetics

The Basics

Geneticists used to believe that only mutations to the actual DNA letter code (A,C,T,G) were relevant to traits, diseases and evolution passing through to future generations. More recently it has become apparent that the regulation of genes (how active a gene is) can also potentially be passed to offspring. These heritable changes that are not due to actually changing the DNA code, but rather are due to changing the regulation of that code are referred to as epigenetics. It seems that our life experiences can, in some ways, be passed on to our offspring and even to their offspring. Could what your grandmother ate when she was a teenager affect your health today? The answers are starting to surprise us!

The Details

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