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Baby genes reflect mom’s stress

| February 3, 2014

Stress can affect a baby’s genes even before a mother conceives, research suggests.

An Israeli study suggested that women under severe stress suffered changes in their eggs. The research, at the University of Haifa, was carried out on rats but scientists believe the conclusions can be applied to humans.

Previous research had shown that exposing rats to stress before they conceived influenced the behaviour of their offspring. The latest study sought to examine whether there was a genetic influence.

Hiba Zaidan, a researcher, said: “Until now we saw evidence only of behavioural effects. Now we’ve found proof of effects at the genetic level.”

Read the full, original story: Baby genes feel mother’s stress

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