Children are the guardians of our genome

Genes and the wider environment are inextricably intertwined, each affecting the other

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Research shows how the environment our parents and grandparents grew up in influences our health. To improve the wellbeing of future generations policymakers must prioritise children today, says Layla Jader.

Evidence has been mounting about the importance of interactions between people’s genetics and their environment, especially in pregnancy and childhood. Knowledge about how wider environmental factors can turn genes on and off—the new science of environmental epigenomics—is gaining wider coverage and influence. Research has shown that genes and the wider environment are inextricably intertwined, each affecting the other. These gene markers can be passed on to future generations in mammals, and they can also be reversed.

Continue reading Children are the guardians of our genome,
thebmj, 2015;351:h6265, 23 November 2015.

Read DES studies on epigenetics and transgenerational effects.

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