Pembrey and Bygren

Washington state

Mike Skinner







The impact of a famine being captured by the genes in the eggs and sperm, and a memory of this event was being carried forward to affect the grandchildren, generations later.
We are changing the view of what inheritance is, if you can't in life, in ordinary development and living, separate out the gene from the environmental effect that are so intertwined.
Pembrey and Bygren's work showed clearly that what our grandparents ate could affect our health. Increasingly, it appeared as if all sorts of environmental events were capable of affecting the genes. And in Washington state, Mike Skinner stumbled on some results with profound implications. He triggered an effect with commonly used pesticides and fungicides. He exposed a pregnant rat with the high dose of one of these pesticides, and then looked for effects in her offspring.
And so I treated the animals, the pregnant mother, with these compounds, and then we started seeing between six months to a year, a whole host of other diseases that we didn't expect. And this ranged between tumors, such as breast and skin tumors, prostate disease, er, kidney disease, er, and immune dysfunction.
He bred these rats to see if the effects persisted into subsequent generations.