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Anita Öst, Medical Faculty at Linköping University, provides an overview of the current state of epigenetics research as she discusses epigenetic inheritance in humans.

Anita seeks to understand and thereby manipulate epigenetic metabolic programs that are set up by parental cues as well as early life events in an effort to design new treatments for obesity and obesity-related diseases, etc.

Anita discusses the concept of epigenetics, which is the study of changes in organisms that can be caused by a modification of gene expression, as opposed to an alteration of the genetic code.

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She details the specific area of epigenetics she focuses on, which looks at how offspring will inherit information or change their phenotype based on their parents’ environment, or stress. She explains why starvation or stress may lead to changes, and talks in depth about experiments with fruit flies that provided further information on theories related to epigenetic inheritance.

She discusses how weight affects flies, and how they look at fat by observing and measuring their triglycerides.

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And the research scientist explains what they learned by experimenting with weight gain in the test subjects and how that impacts offspring. 

Continuing, the Linköping University researcher talks about experiments they performed with humans related to diet and sugar intake. She discusses their results, and how it affected sperm motility. Wrapping up, the researcher explains how these dietary and other effects have impacted their research and their considerations for other experimentation.

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In this podcast:

  • Can diet affect sperm motility?
  • What can we learn from epigenetics?
  • How offspring inherit information or change phenotype based on parents’ environment


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