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Transgenerational transmission of environmental information in C. elegans

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Science  21 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6335, pp. 320-323
DOI: 10.1126/science.aah6412

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Ancestral legacy effects

Environmental change can critically affect the lifestyle, reproductive success, and life span of adult animals and their for generations. Klosin et al. showed that in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, exposure to high temperatures led to expression of endogenously repressed copies of genes—sometimes called “junk” DNA. This effect persisted for >10 generations of worms. The changes in chromatin occurred in the early embryo before the onset of transcription and were inherited through eggs and sperm.

Science, this issue p. 320