We recently came across a hot new article that even the mainstream media has been all over. Stanford University researchers found that longevity can be passed down through generations without using DNA sequence to do it. The study found that C. elegans worms with certain histone modifications leading to increased longevity were able to pass that long life-span trait to their descendants, even though those chromatin states and resulting gene expression patterns weren’t. Score one point for Lamarck!
It’s no surprise that these findings are making a big splash even outside of the epigenetics community. So if you want to share some epigenetics news with your friends or family who may not be scientifically oriented here are a few easily digested articles:
- Scientific America - Longevity Shown for First Time to Be Inherited via a Non-DNA Mechanism
- MIT Technology Review - Worm Offspring Inherit Longevity Even without the Genes
- The Guardian - Worms can inherit a ‘memory of longevity’ from long-lived parents
Or you can pass down the full article in Nature, October 2011.