A study provided by specialists of the Zurich University (Switzerland) helps to clarify the situation with epigenetic inheritance. Gapp et al. (2014) studied the molecular mechanisms of inheritance behavior in mice. To do this, they caused animals’ childhood trauma: they were taken away from their mothers within two weeks at a time (p. 670). This unpredictable stress influenced both cubs and females who were also imprisoned for a time in a close tube. According to the research, when the stressed cubs grew, researchers noticed that they were indifferent to the danger: for example, they were less afraid of open and well-lit spaces (normal mouse, of course, is to avoid such places). However, precisely speaking, changes in behavior and metabolism were inherited by their descendants to some extent as well.
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The importance of the study is determined by the high morbidity of the population in the world. In this connection, it seems necessary to learn issues concerning heredity as well. From a practical point of view, such study is very significant to identify the different transmitted diseases as a result of the influence of heredity on the human. Consequently, it is achievable to develop methods for diagnosis and prevention of possible pathology in some cases. To illustrate the research, authors use graphs and apply the quantitative method of the research as it allows providing detailed and accurate data.
It seems appropriate to stress that the results of the study confirm the fact that some epigenetic features might be inherited by offspring. The impact of living conditions in early childhood reflects the picture of epigenetic modifications and might accompany the person for all his life.
Gapp, K., Jawaid, A., Sarkies, P., Bohacek, J., Pelczar, P., Prados, J.,… Mansuy, I. M. (2014). Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of early trauma in mice. Nature Neuroscience, 17(5), 667-669.