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How sperm transmit information without DNA

McGill research has determined how information about the environment is transmitted by sperm molecules that are not linked to DNA. The discovery contributes to the scientific understanding of the heritability of parents’ life experiences and potentially opens up new avenues for studying disease transmission and prevention. Research suggests that the key to understanding and preventing certain diseases involves proteins in sperm. By manipulating the epigenome of sperm, scientists determined how information affecting development is transmitted to mouse embryos. Changes in sperm histone methyl groups were transmitted during fertilization and remained in the developing embryo. Understanding what is inherited beyond DNA will lead to healthier people with new types of disease prevention.

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