Schlagwort-Archive: offspring

Face recognition, face value

With a new child, people are always asking if the baby looks like the father or the mother – probably a prehistoric social reflex to confirm that this is your offspring that you are caring about.
Face recognition clearly is a science of its own – a lot of heuristics and Bayesian computing – more at face-rec.org – and even a big business if you think of automatic passport control or age determination for goods that are only allowed for adults.
Face recognition works quite robust as I found in the advanced online demo at betaface.com. A new browser plugin from polar rose will even allows to annotate web pictures – Orwell meets Flickr.

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Barker to the power of 2

It is certainly hard to understand how early life events are leading to later disease. Here is an incredible nutrigenomics story done in agouti mice:

We find that the somatic epigenetic state of Avy is affected by in utero methyl donor supplementation only when the allele is paternally contributed. Exposure to methyl donor supplementation during midgestation shifts Avy phenotypes not only in the mice exposed as fetuses, but in their offspring. This finding indicates that methyl donors can change the epigenetic state of the Avy allele in the germ line, and that the altered state is retained through the epigenetic resetting that takes place in gametogenesis and embryogenesis. Thus a mother’s diet may have an enduring influence on succeeding generations.

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