Essay about Epigenetics
What has got a lot of people excited, though, is the idea that epigenetic switches might be transmitted down the generations. …show more content…
Dr Rehan and his team injected their rats with nicotine when they were six days pregnant. (Rat pregnancies last 22 days.) They then allowed them to give birth and raised the pups to the age of three weeks, before some were examined. The rest were allowed to mature and breed, and their own offspring were similarly examined. There was, however, no further administration of nicotine.
The pups of the treated mothers had asthmatic lungs. The organs’ airways were constricted, and molecular analysis showed abnormally high levels of fibronectin and collagen—which would stiffen the lung tissue—and also high levels of receptor molecules for nicotine. That was expected, since the developing embryos were exposed to the nicotine when their mothers were treated. However, when the team did similar tests on the grand-offspring of the treated mothers, they got similar results. Those grand-offspring had not been exposed to