An Exploration of Epigenetic Inheritance—Dr. Qi Chen, PhD—Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences at UC Riverside


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Inheritance is a fundamental feature of life, allowing organisms to pass traits onto their offspring. It’s well known that DNA is the carrier for this hereditary information, but for a long time it was believed to be the only carrier. Over the past several decades, new and evolving research on epigenetics—the method by which the environment has the ability to change genetic expression—has emerged, and most recently, this research has focused on epigenetic inheritance in humans. Dr. Qi Chen, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, Riverside is studying sperm RNA and how its function may be related to environmental exposure and epigenetics in humans. Dr. Chen shares a number of fascinating insights from his lab and recent experiments, while pulling from decades’ worth of knowledge on the topics at issue.

On today’s episode, you will learn:

  • What happens when the RNA of a mouse exposed to a high-fat diet is extracted and implanted into a healthy zygote
  • How the discovery of a subset of tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNA) in the mature sperm of mice might have important implications for epigenetic inheritance in humans
  • How sperm RNA changes in response to environmental stimuli

Tune in for all the details and check out to learn more.

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