Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance with Dr. Michael Skinner
I hate to break it to you, but yes - what your grandmother did directly influences how your DNA is regulated today. This is called epigenetic transgenerational inheritance. Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance refers to the transmission of epigenetic marks from one generation to the next. This phenomenon can occur through the germline and affect the development and health of future generations.To further explain, it is possible for environmental factors that affected our grandmother to influence our epigenetics through epigenetic transgenerational inheritance. For example, if our grandmother was exposed to a toxin that caused changes in her epigenetic marks, those changes could be passed down to subsequent generations. This could lead to an increased risk of disease or other health conditions in her grandchildren, even if they were not directly exposed to the toxin themselves.Additionally, lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise habits can also have epigenetic effects that can be inherited. If your grandmother had a poor diet or was sedentary, for example, this could have altered her epigenetic marks and potentially contributed to a higher risk of obesity or other metabolic disorders in her grandchildren.In this week’s Everything Epigenetics podcast, Dr. Michael Skinner speaks with me about just that - epigenetic transgenerational inheritance, a term he coined in 2005. We discuss how Dr. Skinner and his team have shown that exposure to certain environmental factors, such as chemicals, nutrition, and stress, can cause changes in the epigenome that can be passed down through multiple generations. Dr. Skinner and I also chat about the mechanisms underlying this transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and the implications for human health and disease, including developmental disorders, obesity, and reproductive problems.In this episode of Everything Epigenetics, you’ll learn about: Dr. Michael Skinner’s history and how he became interested in things that cannot be explained by classical geneticsThe history of Epigenetics starting with Conrad Waddington who coined the term “Epigenetics” in 1942Epigenetic mechanism and marks (DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin structure, non-coding RNA, RNA methylation, and DNA adenine)How Dr. Skinner discovered epigenetic transgenerational inheritance Epigenetic transgenerational inheritance The role of the germ cell in this type of inheritance The limitations of genetic data in determining phenotypic outcomes Classical examples of epigenetic transgenerational inheritanceGenerational toxicology The work Dr. Skinner is performing now (F10 generations in rats) Environmental toxicants that have been shown to be associated with the transgenerational inheritance of increased disease susceptibilityHow different toxins can have an affect on our health today How other epidemiological factors can promote a transgenerational effect How Dr. Skinner’s work has changed his own lifestyle Using epigenetic biomarkers for preventative therapeutic strategies to detect disease early The limitations of government policies regulating toxicant exposure The best way to move forward using epigenetics in the healthcare industryDr. Skinner’s most recent work (which had over 500+ million reaches) looking at epigenetics in twins with different workout regimens How epigenetics can predict preeclampsia, preterm birth, male infertility, and moreThe lack of funding in this area of science Thank you for joining us at the Everything Epigenetics Podcast and remember you have control over your Epigenetics, so tune in next time to learn more about how.