I recently read an interesting article, “How Dad’s Stresses Get Passed Along to Offspring.” (Let me add two words to the end of this title that often disappears in print: in mice.) This article shares some compelling evidence, in mice at least, showing how information about the paternal environment reaches the womb.
The author also points to preliminary research in college students demonstrating that shortly after students report stress, their sperm shows changes in small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs), suggesting that the environment (and our responses to it) regulates sperm epigenetics.
Epigenetics is a fascinating topic. For a nice overview (c. 2012), check out “The Epigenetics Revolution,” by Nessa Carey. I look forward to having an expert on The Drive at some point to go over this topic in some detail.