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"Epigenetics" Means What We Eat, How We Live and Love, Alters How Our Genes Behave

2005-10-25 16:08

Epigenetics

A mother rat withholds nurturing licks from its pup and elicits a brain change that impairs the pup's response to stress as an adult, researchers in Canada found. A pregnant woman's dietary deficits increase her offspring's risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease later in life, researchers in England have shown.

These startling scientific discoveries illuminate the emerging field of epigenetics, in which single nutrients, toxins, behaviors or environmental exposures of any sort can silence or activate a gene without altering its genetic code in any way.

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Rather, the environmental exposure triggers a chemical change in the body or brain that mobilizes a group of molecules

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