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      Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in farm animals: How substantial is the evidence?

      Livestock Science
      Elsevier BV

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          Ten things you should know about transposable elements

          Transposable elements (TEs) are major components of eukaryotic genomes. However, the extent of their impact on genome evolution, function, and disease remain a matter of intense interrogation. The rise of genomics and large-scale functional assays has shed new light on the multi-faceted activities of TEs and implies that they should no longer be marginalized. Here, we introduce the fundamental properties of TEs and their complex interactions with their cellular environment, which are crucial to understanding their impact and manifold consequences for organismal biology. While we draw examples primarily from mammalian systems, the core concepts outlined here are relevant to a broad range of organisms.
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            Persistent epigenetic differences associated with prenatal exposure to famine in humans.

            Extensive epidemiologic studies have suggested that adult disease risk is associated with adverse environmental conditions early in development. Although the mechanisms behind these relationships are unclear, an involvement of epigenetic dysregulation has been hypothesized. Here we show that individuals who were prenatally exposed to famine during the Dutch Hunger Winter in 1944-45 had, 6 decades later, less DNA methylation of the imprinted IGF2 gene compared with their unexposed, same-sex siblings. The association was specific for periconceptional exposure, reinforcing that very early mammalian development is a crucial period for establishing and maintaining epigenetic marks. These data are the first to contribute empirical support for the hypothesis that early-life environmental conditions can cause epigenetic changes in humans that persist throughout life.
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              Environmental epigenomics and disease susceptibility.

              Epidemiological evidence increasingly suggests that environmental exposures early in development have a role in susceptibility to disease in later life. In addition, some of these environmental effects seem to be passed on through subsequent generations. Epigenetic modifications provide a plausible link between the environment and alterations in gene expression that might lead to disease phenotypes. An increasing body of evidence from animal studies supports the role of environmental epigenetics in disease susceptibility. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated for the first time that heritable environmentally induced epigenetic modifications underlie reversible transgenerational alterations in phenotype. Methods are now becoming available to investigate the relevance of these phenomena to human disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Livestock Science
                Livestock Science
                Elsevier BV
                18711413
                August 2021
                August 2021
                : 250
                : 104557
                Article
                10.1016/j.livsci.2021.104557
                192fafea-af31-465d-88b3-49254225ad7c
                © 2021

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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