Valerie Brown is a freelance science writer based in Oregon's Willamette Valley. She has written about environmental health, climate change, nuclear radiation, and many other issues for High Country News, Science, and other publications. She was a professional musician for a dozen years before turning to non-fiction writing.
Only more and better data will settle a dispute about the possibility that environmental pollution can cause inheritable disease.
The murky waters of the debate over chemical exposures and health just got murkier. And a bit nastier.
Advances in the field of epigenetics show that environmental contaminants can turn genes "on" and "off" triggering serious diseases that are handed down through generations. But there's also a more heartening prospect: The same diseases may be treated by relatively simple changes in nourishment and lifestyle.