Damage From Chemical Exposure Passed Down for Generations
New research has shown that exposure to commonly used chemicals causes changes in rats that are passed down through multiple generations. The researchers exposed gestating female rats to vinclozolin, a popular fruit and vegetable fungicide. They then put the ratsâ€™ third generation of offspring through a variety of behavioral tests. They found that the rats were more sensitive to stress, and more anxious, and they had greater levels of activity in stress-related regions of the brain, than the descendants of the unexposed rats.
â€œThe ancestral exposure of your great grandmother alters your brain development to then respond to stress differently,â€ says Michael Skinner, co-author and a researcher at Washington State University. â€œWe did not know a stress response could be programmed by your ancestorsâ€™ environmental exposures.â€