Chemical Exposure Damage Is Passed Down Through Generations
New research has found that exposure to widely used chemicals can cause changes in rats, which are passed down through many generations.
David Crews, a researcher at the University of Texas, and co-author of the study, said that we are currently the third human generation after the chemical revolution began, when humans were first exposed to these types of toxins.
Michael Skinner, a researcher at Washington State University, and co-author of the study, says that the exposure of our ancestors to the toxins has altered our brain development, causing it to respond to stress in a different way. Prior to the study, it was not known that stress responses might be programmed by the environmental exposures of our great-grandparents.
The researchers in this study, found in a previous study, called epigenetics, that vinclozolin may affect genes, and how they are turned on and off by environmental factors.
The recent study broadened the researchers understanding of the epigenetics of behaviors and the brain.
Skinner, who concentrated on the genomic and epigenetic transgenerational inheritance aspects of the research paper, added that they didn’t know that a stress response can be reprogrammed by the environmental exposures of our ancestors – meaning that our anxiety levels and how we socialize may be totally dependent on our ancestors, and their levels of exposure to toxins.
Crews says that there has been a real increase in disorders such as bipolar disorder and autism, and not just a diagnostics change. During his research Crews considered if this is a result of living in a more hectic world, or because we live in this hectic world and respond to stress differently due to our chemical exposure – Crews favors the latter.
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