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Each day we’re faced with countless choices: how we’ll get to work, what we plan to do over the weekend, what we’ll eat for lunch…and the list goes on. Over time, the choices we make and the environmental stimuli we encounter can actually cause changes in our gene expression, which is called epigenetics. On today’s podcast, Dr. Qi Chen, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, Riverside discusses epigenetic inheritance in mice—the way in which epigenetic changes in humans can be passed onto offspring. In his lab, Dr. Chen is exploring this by studying sperm RNA in mice and looking at how it functions as a carrier of heritable epigenetic information.

In this podcast, you will discover:

  • 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
  • In what ways RNA interacts with the underlying DNA

Press play to hear the full conversation and visit http://qichen-lab.info/people.html for more information about the work being done in Dr. Chen’s lab.

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