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Epigenetics study helps focus search for autism risk factors
January 16, 2018

By Judith Van Dongen, WSU Spokane Office of Research

SPOKANE, Wash. – Scientists have long tried to pin down the causes of autism spectrum disorder. Recent studies have expanded the search for genetic links from identifying genes toward epigenetics, the study of factors that control gene expression and looks at chemical modifications of DNA and the proteins associated with it.

Sperm changes documented years after chemotherapy
February 1, 2017

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

PULLMAN, Wash. – A Washington State University researcher has documented epigenetic changes in the sperm of men who underwent chemotherapy in their teens.

Shifting the genetic paradigm with epigenetics
July 12, 2016

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Michael-SkinnerPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University biologist Michael Skinner isn’t one to shy away from a good fight. In fact, prominently displayed on his webpage are the words: “If you are not doing something controversial, you are not doing something important.”

Study: Environmental epigenetics affects disease, evolution
August 3, 2015

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

Skinner-Michael-2012-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers say environmental factors are having an underappreciated effect on the course of disease and evolution by prompting genetic mutations through epigenetics, a process by which genes are turned on and off independent of an organism’s DNA sequence.

Study: How environment may have affected ancient societies
June 1, 2015

ancient-DNA-from-Photos-dot-comPULLMAN, Wash. – A new study in PLOS ONE shows for the first time that epigenetic marks on DNA can be detected in a large number of ancient human remains. This could improve understanding about the effects of famine and disease in the ancient world.

Research finds female descendants susceptible to stress
August 26, 2014

ratsPULLMAN, Wash. – A new study by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Washington State University shows that male and female rats are affected differently by ancestral exposure to a common fungicide, vinclozolin. Female rats whose great-grandparents were exposed become much more vulnerable to stress.

Pesticide linked to three generations of disease
July 24, 2014

By Becky Phillips, University Communications

SkinnerPULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers say ancestral exposures to the pesticide methoxychlor may lead to adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease and obesity in future generations.

Feb. 10: Skinner to discuss ‘ancestral ghosts’ in genes
January 21, 2014

By Jared Brickman, Honors College

Skinner-Michael-2012-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Your grandmother has some explaining to do. What she was exposed to during pregnancy could make you more susceptible to disease, and you’re going to pass that on to your grandchildren as well.