Epigenetics often refers heritable modifications in gene expression that are excludable from the original DNA sequence.Through previous understanding, traits have been inherited by an offspring through the both parents’ genome. Epigenetics explores how environment can have different effects of future generations. In the NOVA documentary, Ghost in Your Genes, various scientists from all over the world conduct studies on epigenetic inheritances!
A study mentioned in Ghost in Your Genes really shocked me; food patterns can have a possible effect on the health of offspring! A study conducted in a Swedish Village was based upon birth rates, mortality rates, and the harvests! The studies showed a pattern that supported that a famine could have an effect on later generations, even if they did not experience the scarcity of food. This interests me to know what habits of my ancestors could have possibly affected me.
Another study epigenetic study in the documentary was the study of identical twins. Even though identical twins have the same DNA sequence, they may grow up with differences due to environment. In a pair of identical twins, one twin had autism when the other twin did not. How could people with the same genome inhibit different traits? The answer is epigenetics!
To learn more about this fascinating study, I suggest you check out Ghost in Your Genes!