How are doughnuts to humans like “royal jelly” to bees? Biologist Shirley Tilghman explains

Research
Posted on June 7, 2016

COURTESY OF PRINCETON PLASMA PHYSICS LABORATORY, B Y JEANNE JACKSON DEVOE

Shirley Tilghman

The same process that determines why certain bees become queen bees while others with the exact same DNA become worker bees also plays a role in how donuts eaten by a pregnant woman may influence whether her child becomes obese.

The reason for both is linked to the “Wild and Wacky World of Epigenetics,” the title of  molecular biologist Shirley Tilghman’s talk at the Edward E. Hatcher Science on Saturday lecture at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on Jan. 16. Tilghman, a Princeton University professor and the president of Princeton University for 11 years until 2012, gave the second lecture in the nine-week free lecture at PPPL. (A downloadable schedule is available here: http://www.pppl.gov/education/science-education/programs/ronald-e-hatcher-science-saturday-lecture-series.)

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