Genetic Blueprint (02:50)
Scientists crack the human genome code at the start of the millennium. Epigeneticists, including Randy Jirtle, learn that environment can affect the genome and disease susceptibility. Epigenetics has a vital role in biological process regulation.
Biological "Software" (05:47)
Diet, stress, and environment affect disease susceptibility. Epigeneticists work toward the ability to reset genetic codes. Jirtle's "Agouti Mouse Study" reveals that diet affects offspring fur color and health; it provides insight on children born during the 1945 Dutch famine.
Maternal Influence (03:05)
Epigenetics causes antagonism among experts. Moshe Szyf's maternal care study reveals that epigenetic modifications can occur through behavior after birth and be passed on to future offspring.
Scientific Collaborations (03:51)
Interest in epigenetics has increased among other professions. Epidemiologist Catherine Hoyo partners with Jirtle and creates the Newborn Epigenetics STudy to identify epigenetic markers of early obesity; mothers have elevated cadmium levels.
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (06:45)
The research-oriented medical school employs 60-70 faculty members who study epigenetics and chromatin biology. Experts use ant colonies to investigate the link between epigenetics and age-related disease and other brain disorders. Shelley Berger's lab investigates addiction memory and PTSD.
Environmental Factors (06:14)
The environment affects gene expression and has long-term health implications; stress has a detrimental impact. Experts discuss long-term effects of stress on the children of women who were pregnant during the 1998 Quebec ice storm.
Obesity and Disease (05:59)
Over 2 billion people suffer weight-related health problems. A fetus is epigenetically programmed to interpret the mother's stress as a lack of food. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies work to develop epigenetic drugs. Szyf believes scientists will be able to map placental DNA for early interventions.
Epigenetic Medicine (07:59)
Treatments are less aggressive than traditional drugs. Suzanne King pilots an online behavioral intervention study for women who were pregnant during Hurricane Harvey. Apps help facilitate research. Exercise helps turn off disease markers. Learn ways to regulate your genome.
Credits: Epigenetics: Decoding Life (00:35)
Credits: Epigenetics: Decoding Life
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