RODENT OF THE WEEK: You are what your father ate
December 24, 2010|By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times
As they say, you are what you eat. And if you’re a mouse, you’re also what your father ate.
So say researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin. In a study published this week in the journal Cell, they report that a father’s diet influences how metabolic genes function in his offspring.
The research team fed some male mice a normal diet, while other mice got a low-protein diet. All the males mated with females who ate the same healthy diet. Sure enough, the offspring of the protein-deprived fathers had hundreds of genetic changes that weren’t seen in the mouse pups whose fathers ate the normal amount of protein. The changes were observed even when the fathers never met their offspring.