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The epigenetic change induced by paternal low protein diet is maintained in mature sperm during spermatogenesis and transmitted to the next generation. Pixabay

Parental diet is a crucial factor in the future metabolic health of the offspring, say health and lifestyle researchers, adding that when parents eat low-protein or high-fat diets it can lead to metabolic disorders in their adult offspring.

According to the study, published in the journal Molecular Cell, researchers at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR) in Japan, identified a key player and the molecular events underlying this phenomenon in mice.


Experimental evidence indicates that environmental factors that affect parents do play a role in reprogramming the health of their offspring throughout their lifespan.


Parental diet is a crucial factor in the future metabolic health of the offspring. Pixabay

In particular, parental low-protein diets are known to be related to metabolic disorders in their children, such as diabetes, the study said. This phenomenon is thought to be regulated through epigenetics–heritable changes in which genes are turned on and off without actually changing an individual’s DNA. However, until now, the details of this process were unknown.

In their study, a team led by Keisuke Yoshida and Shunsuke Ishii at RIKEN CPR tackled this question in a mouse model and discovered that a protein called ATF7 is essential for the intergenerational effect. ATF7 is a transcription factor, meaning that it regulates when genes are turned on and off. The researchers fed male and female mice on normal diets or low protein diets and then allowed them to mate.

They compared gene expression–which genes were turned on–in adult offspring of male mice who had been on the two different diets and found that expression differed for hundreds of genes in the liver, many of which are involved in cholesterol metabolism. However, when they used genetically engineered male mice that lacked one copy of the ATF7 gene, gene expression in the offspring did not differ from the expression in offspring whose parents ate normal diets.


Parents should consume a low-protein diet. Pixabay

This result means that a male mouse’s diet can influence the health of future children. As male mice cannot affect offspring in pregnant females, the researchers concluded that the most likely scenario was that the epigenetic changes occurred in the male’s sperm before conception, and that ATF7 has a critical function in this process.

Based on this logic, the team searched for and found genes in sperm cells that are controlled by ATF7, including those for fat metabolism in the liver and cholesterol production. Experiments revealed that when fathers-to-be ate low protein diets, ATF7 came loose and no longer bound to these genes.

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This in turn reduced a particular modification to histone proteins, with a net effect that these sperm-cell genes were turned on, rather than the normal situation of being turned off, according to the researchers.

“The most surprising and exciting discovery was that the epigenetic change induced by paternal low protein diet is maintained in mature sperm during spermatogenesis and transmitted to the next generation,” Ishii said. (IANS)


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Dia Mirza champions sustainable fashion

Actor and environmental activist, Dia Mirza, who is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was showstopper for Indian designers Abraham & Thakore at the recently held LFW X FDCI event. The designer duo who are pioneers of slow fashion and sustainability in the Indian fashion landscape showcased a timeless sustainable collection.

IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.

Read Excerpts:

Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
A: Yes absolutely. It was just so refreshing and wonderful to finally be back from a virtual audience. Last year we did a digital show and the energy was just not there, this is an interactive experience and we draw so much from real people.

Q: The outfit that was chosen for you, how did it complement your style?
A: It's a garment that I think involves and is reflective of what I stand for, I deeply care about sustainability and I love the fact that the garment has been made with repurposed material, used and created with a hundred per cent post-consumer bottles, and made by the waste generated from the pieces of fabric that we discard while creating other garments. So it was a very special garment that really and truly celebrated repurposing and reusing and upcycling.

Dia Mirza is an Indian model, actress, producer, and social worker who predominantly works in Hindi films. Mirza won the title of Miss Asia Pacific International in 2000. IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion. | Wikimedia Commons

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Delhi to get new QR-based driving livenses and registration certificates.

In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).

As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.

The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.

"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.

The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)

An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.

The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.


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In this handout photo provided by Sotheby's Auction House, the auction for Banksy's "Love is the Bin" takes place in London, Oct. 14, 2021

LONDON — A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally shredded itself just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched almost 18.6 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday — a record for the artist, and close to 20 times its pre-shredded price.

"Love is in the Bin" was offered by Sotheby's in London, with a presale estimate of 4 million pounds to 6 million pounds ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).

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