Home > Are You What Your Mother Ate? The Agouti Mouse Study
During WWII, a German blockade cut off food supplies to Western provinces, causing a famine. Prof. David Barker linked a pregnant mother's experience with the health of her children years later. This video highlights an experiment on fetal susceptibility.
In the last part of the 20th century, experts believed diseases were the result of a genetic mutation. Learn how epigenetics works; environmental factors shape the programming.
All mammals have an agouti gene. A group of mice are genetically identical but their physical characteristics are different—transposon. Randy Jirtle and Rob Waterland experimented whether they could change the phenotype with alterations in the epigenome.
Jirtle and Waterland's study, published in 2003, showed the mechanism by which the environment could affect gene expression and alter disease susceptibility. Jirtle states the findings can be extrapolated to humans but there are still unknowns; they generated new research.
Credits: Are You What Your Mother Ate? The Agouti Mouse Study
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Jirtle and Waterland’s Agouti Mouse research has been called one of the most important study’s of the 21st century. It is hugely significant for our understanding of both the epigenetic mechanisms that change gene expression and the relationship between Nature and Nurture in psychology and sociology. The film combines original interview and laboratory footage of Professor Jirtle to both tell the story of the Agouti Mouse Study and consider its implications for our understanding of the relationship between genes and the environment.
Length: 15 minutes
Copyright date: ©2018
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