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The diseases lying in wait for the adult male rats were a manifestation of the Barker hypothesis, which posits that events in very early development can result in strong susceptibility to adult disease.
And the inherited disease susceptibilities are governed by the rules of epigenetics.
These paradigms were glimpsed years ago but blossomed in the last couple of decades, when high-throughput lab techniques to analyze genes and proteins became widely available.
This scientific convergence is pushing seismic ripples throughout biology by remodeling long-standing assumptions about genetics.
One by one, the male rats visit Betsy as she sits, nervous and inquisitive, at a little round table, toying with her bar napkin.
Rats routinely identify each other and maintain relationships via a lot of sniffing, nosing and general snorfling, and when they’re in the mood for love, they do it even more.
You see, Betsy is a Sprague Dawley rat, a variety commonly used in biological experiments and the very kind used by Andrea Gore and David Crews of the University of Texas, Austin and Michael Skinner of Washington State University, Pullman, who have found something amazing and scary in a mate-selection experiment very similar to Betsy’s speed-dating scenario.
In the experiment, female Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to potential male suitors, some of which were descended from one great-great-grandmother rat who had been given a high dose of the fungicide vinclozolin when she was pregnant.
Ecologists and people who study individual populations, meanwhile, have focused on reproductive fitness and genes-versus-environment questions.
It was a one-way street: No environmental influence on the phenotype could change the genotype.
Chopping off a mouse’s tail did not produce a line of tailless mice, no matter how many times the tails were chopped.
Danny Boyle is producing under his Decibel Films banner along with Christian Colson and his company Cloud Eight. The competition between King and Riggs captured the public imagination in 1973, when the No.
2 ranked King — who was 29 — beat Riggs, a 55-year-old former Wimbledon champion.
Alas, all the snorfling in the world will not reveal Betsy’s Mr. Many of the potential mates who come her way just seem wrong somehow, and Betsy rejects them.