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News Release 12-079

Study Is First to Show Transgenerational Effect of Antibiotics

Antibiotic commonly used in animal production passes from father to son in pseudoscorpions

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Photo of the pseudoscorpion Cordylochernes scorpioides.

In an article published in Nature's open access journal Scientific Reports, lead author and assistant biology professor Jeanne Zeh surmises that tetracycline may induce epigenetic changes in male reproductive tissues that may be passed to sons--changes that do not alter the sequence of DNA but rather alter the way genes are expressed. Here, a Cordylochernes scorpioides births nymphs, the males of which may be negatively affected by tetracycline.

Credit: Nick Romanenko

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