At the moment of reproductive fertilization, much of a person’s health perspective is determined by the genetic and epigenetic information contained within the sperm and egg.
Wei Yan, foundation professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, was one of the first to validate this important finding.
Factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, or environmental exposures all impact health. But Yan’s research indicates that the quality of the gametes (sperm and eggs) has a huge impact on the health perspective of the offspring. His research has discovered that environmental insults can lead to genetic and epigenetic alterations in the gametes, which not only compromise fertility, but also predispose the offspring to many common diseases, which sometimes can even be inherited across multiple generations.
A significant discovery by Yan’s team is the quality of sperm in determining the overall health of the offspring. It was once thought sperm only deliver the father’s DNA into the egg, but Yan’s research has shown that, in addition to genetic information, sperm also carry over a large amount of epigenetic information during fertilization.
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