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  • Letters to the Editor

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    Microbiome musings

    The January 11, 2014, issue of Science News focused on the microbiome, the diverse collection of microbes that reside in and on humans and other organisms.

    Mark Bach looks forward to seeing what scientists can learn from the study of these tiny hitchhikers. “As our understanding of the microbial world — or more correctly, the world that we share with microbes — expands...

    01/28/2014 - 08:00 Epigenetics
  • Scicurious

    You are what your dad ate, perhaps

    “You are what you eat.”

    We’ve all heard that one. What we eat can affect our growth, life span and whether we develop disease. These days, we know that we also are what our mother eats. Or rather, what our mothers ate while we were in the womb. But are we also what our father eats? A new study shows that in mice, a dietary deficiency in dad can be a big downer for baby.

    The dietary...

    12/13/2013 - 14:05 Epigenetics, Development, Nutrition
  • News in Brief

    Fear can be inherited

    Along with eye color, height and dimples, parents’ fears can pass down to children, scientists report December 1 in Nature Neuroscience. The results, from experiments with mice, suggest how fallout from a person’s traumatic experiences might ripple through generations.

    Mouse parents learned to associate the scent of orange blossoms with a shock. Their children and their grandchildren...

    12/01/2013 - 13:05 Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Genetics
  • Scicurious

    Sexy male mice have competitive moms

    What makes a male mouse a stud? Allowing his mom to have a social life. A new study shows that parental experience can affect the reproductive abilities of offspring without any change to the DNA. Instead, quicker changes are involved, adding another finding that may be attributed to the growing field of epigenetics.

    “It wasn’t what we set out to discover,” says study coauthor Wayne...

    11/19/2013 - 17:18 Epigenetics
  • Feature

    From Great Grandma to You

    Like many women with parents of the Mad Men generation, Susan Murphy grew up in a household full of cigarette smoke. Both dad and mom smoked heavily, even while Murphy was still in her mother’s womb.

    “That explains a lot,” Murphy quips, poking fun at herself.

    But Murphy isn’t worried about her own health. She’s fine. Her children aren’t, though. One boy died of cancer as a toddler...

    03/20/2013 - 19:38 Epigenetics, Genetics
  • News

    Some genes like it hot

    WASHINGTON — You are where you live, scientists who study genetic variations among people from different geographic regions are finding. For example, people who live in locations that get lots of solar radiation are more likely to have a sweat gland gene variant that may help them cool off more efficiently, geneticist Anna Di Rienzo of the University of Chicago reported February 19 at the...

    02/19/2011 - 18:50 Epigenetics
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