Top Menu

Alcohol Use in Pregnancy Changes Fetal Genes, Animal Study Finds


An animal study conducted at Australia's Queensland Institute of Medical Research found that alcohol exposure during pregnancy can cause permanent genetic changes in fetuses, the Australian Associated Press reported Jan. 15.

Researchers fed mice either water or alcohol during early pregnancy and found that those given alcohol had twice as many dark-furred offspring than the water group. Skull malformations and decreased body weight also were observed, similar to the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) among humans.

Lead author Suyinn Chong said the research could aid in development of a DNA test to screen children for FAS. “So what we hope is that if we can screen the children, identify these epigenetic changes which might be markers of future educational or social problems, we could basically aid diagnosis and allow early intervention,” Chong said.

The study was published in the journal PLoS Genetics.

No responses yet.

Leave a Reply

Please read our comment policy and guidelines before you submit a comment. Your email address will not be published. Thank you for visiting

one + 6 =

Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication is strictly prohibited without prior consent. Photographic rights remain the property of Join Together and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. For reproduction inquiries, please e-mail