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Links to your school programme

This seminar links to NCEA Level 3 Achievement Standards:

  • AS 90714 Biology 3.2 Research a contemporary biological issue
  • AS 90715 Biology 3.3 Describe the role of DNA in relation to gene expression

About the Presenters

Developmental Origins and Epigenetics Research at The Liggins Institute

Dr Deborah Sloboda and Dr Mark Vickers lead the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research group at the Liggins Institute. This group is interested in understanding the impact of maternal nutrition on health and wellbeing in offspring. Many members of the Liggins Institute, including Professor Peter Gluckman who leads the Evolutionary Biology and Epigenetics research group are investigating how epigenetic mechanisms underpin the relationship between early life environment and phenotype. Dr Sloboda, Dr Vickers and Professor Gluckman collaborate with scientists from AgResearch, The Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences (A*STAR), the University of Southampton DOHaD Institute led by Professor Mark Hanson and McGill University Montreal.

Useful Resources for this Seminar

Web Sites that will be useful

Antioxidants and Food

Learn Genetics - Epigenetics - a very good introduction to epigenetics aimed at school students.

The Raine Study - learn about the Raine Study in Australia

The Hertfordshire Cohort Study - learn more about this study that helped scientists understand more about how the relationhsip between genome and early life environment impacts on health and aging in later life.

The Barker Hypothesis Learn about the work of Professor David Barker

The International Society for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)

The Dutch Famine Study

Relevant Papers Available Freely Online - Remember Nature Education Papers are written specifically for students your age.

Deborah M. Sloboda, Graham J. Howie, Anthony Pleasants, Peter D. Gluckman, Mark H. Vickers (2009) "Pre- and Postnatal Nutritional Histories Influence Reproductive Maturation and Ovarian Function in the Rat" PLoS ONE 4(8): e6744. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006744

Howie G J, Sloboda D M, KamalT Vickers M H (2009) "Maternal nutritional history predicts obesity in adult offspring independent of postnatal diet" The Jounral of Physiology 587(4): 905 -915 Cooney, C, A. (2006) Germ cells carry the epigenetics benefits of grandmother’s diet PNAS Vol 103, no.46, 17071 –17072

Adams, J. (2008) Obesity, epigenetics, and gene regulation. Nature Education 1(1)

Jones P. A. (2008) Moving AHEAD with an international human epigenome project Nature Vol 454 711 - 715

Laura, B. (2008) Epigenomics: The new tool in studying complex diseases. Nature Education 1(1)

Simmons, D. (2008) Epigenetic influence and disease. Nature Education 1(1)

Experimental Simulation by Dr. Randy Jirtle and Dr. Robert Waterland at Duke University Medical Center showing epigenetic effects

Hunter, P. (2008) We are what we eat. The link between diet, evolution and non-genetic inheritance. EMBO reports 9, 5, 413–415

Pray, L. A (2004) Epigenetics: Genome, Meet Your Environment: As the evidence accumulates for epigenetics, researchers reacquire a taste for Lamarckism. The Scientist (2004) 18 (13): 14

Wade, P.A. Archer, T. K.(2006) Epigenetics – environmental instructions for the genome. Environmental Health Perspectives VOLUME 114, NUMBER 3

Weinhold B (2006) Epigenetics: The Science of Change Environmental Health Perspectives VOLUME 114, NUMBER 3

New Scientist - Evolution: 24 myths and misconceptions