This 2018 Belgian review hijacked science to further an agenda:
“We addressed this issue at the LATSIS Symposium ‘Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Impact for Biology and Society’, in Zürich, 28–30 August 2017, and here provide important arguments why environmental and lifestyle-related exposures in young men should be studied.”
The reviewer DETRACTED from science in the studied area – transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – by ignoring its intent. As shown by A self-referencing study of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance which I also curated today, the purpose of such animal studies is to find the mechanisms in order to help humans.
Putting that study’s graphic into human terms, F3 male great-grandchildren may be adversely affected by their F0 great-grandmothers being poisoned while pregnant with their F1 grandfathers, who – with their F2 fathers – may have also been adversely affected.
What the reviewer asserted without proof:
“The importance of maternal lifestyle, diet and other environmental exposures before and during gestation period is well recognized.”
is NOT TRUE for the studied area.
The evidence disproving this assertion is that NO HUMAN STUDIES scientifically demonstrating causes for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance effects have been published!
There’s a huge gap between “The importance..is well recognized” of anything regarding transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and ZERO human studies.
Why has no one published scientifically adequate human evidence to demonstrate “Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance: Impact for Biology and Society” effects on ALL of the F1, F2, and F3 human generations as consequences “of maternal lifestyle, diet and other environmental exposures before and during gestation period?” What are we waiting for?
The reviewer said “young men should be studied” but said nothing about resolving bottlenecks in funding human research of the studied area. Do researchers even have opportunities to make a NON-AGENDA-DRIVEN difference in this field?
With ZERO published human studies, transgenerational epigenetic inheritance research can’t be recharacterized into a female vs. male agenda. The reviewer’s attempt to do so diminished the importance of research into human critical development periods.
This agenda’s viewpoint ignored human correlates of evidence from animal studies like The lifelong impact of maternal postpartum behavior:
“The defect in maternal care induced by gestational stress programs the development of the offspring.”
Will the reviewer’s suggested interventions – such as changing an adult’s lifestyle a long time after their development was altered – somehow make up for what went wrong early in their life, even before they were born?
With the evidence from animal studies such as:
- A limited study of parental transmission of anxiety/stress-reactive traits; and
- Do you have your family’s detailed medical histories?
is there any doubt that similar mechanisms may be involved in humans, and that human phenotypes may likewise be intergenerationally and/or transgenerationally transmitted?
The reviewer asserted:
“Studying humans is challenging, because of ethical reasons”
But do “ethical reasons” prohibit non-instigating human studies of stress, the intergenerationally and transgenerationally transmitted effects of which seem to be ubiquitous among humans?
In The Not-Invented-Here syndrome I pointed out another problem that the reviewer’s agenda is less than helpful in resolving:
“How can animal studies like the current study help humans when their models don’t replicate common human conditions? This failure to use more relevant models has follow-on effects such as human intergenerational and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance being denigrated due to insufficient evidence.”
I’ll repeat What is a father’s role in epigenetic inheritance? in closing:
“The review focused on 0.0001% of the prenatal period for what matters with the human male – who he was at the time of a Saturday night drunken copulation – regarding intergenerational and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of metabolic diseases.
The human female’s role – who she was at conception AND THEN what she does or doesn’t do during the remaining 99.9999% of the prenatal period to accommodate the fetus and prevent further adverse epigenetic effects from being intergenerationally and transgenerationally transmitted – wasn’t discussed.
Who benefits from this agenda’s narrow focus?”
https://academic.oup.com/eep/article/4/2/dvy007/4987171 “POHaD: why we should study future fathers”