Inflammatory bowel disease may be from mom's bacteria, not DNA

February 18, 2015 3:35 PM

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Inflammatory bowel disease may be from mom's bacteria, not DNA

Your mother's DNA may have determined your eye color, but some traits that you thought came from her may instead have come from the DNA of bacteria she passed on to you soon after birth, a new study finds.

The study found that a mother mouse can pass along to her offspring a susceptibility to intestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, by way of a gut-residing bacterium called Sutterella, the researchers reported in the journal Nature on Feb. 16.

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